Gestamp has opened its first plant in Japan, located in Matsusaka (Mie prefecture) with an investment of more than EUR40m (US$46m).

Gestamp Hot Stamping Japan will manufacture metal Body-in-White components using hot stamping technology to reduce the weight and to increase safety.

The plant will work for Japanese OEMs starting with Honda at this initial stage.

By the end of this year, around 60 people are expected to be employed at the new plant, which could increase as part of an expansion phase if new projects arise in the future.

The new facility has a medium Hot Stamping line of 1,200 tons, built by equipment manufacturer, Loire Gestamp, which is part of the Group. The plant will provide full service Hot Stamping capabilities as it also includes laser-cutting cells and shot blasting equipment.

Gestamp’s industrial footprint increases to 22 countries:

The auto parts manufactured in Matsusaka are intended for Japan’s domestic car market. The new plant will improve Gestamp’s knowledge of Japanese car manufacturers’ needs, for whom the company already provides service in their plants in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

With Japan, Gestamp adds a new country to its industrial scope, bringing to 22 the number of markets in which the Spanish supplier is present.

Gestamp already has an active presence in the Japanese market through its R&D centre in Tokyo, opened last year and technical and commercial teams to support Japanese clients.

“Gestamp’s strategy is always to accompany our customers and we are proud to be here in Japan, as this proximity will allow us to better serve Japanese OEMs in an efficient, innovative and competitive market,” said Gestamp executive chairman, Francisco Riberas.

“Gestamp wants to be present in Japan to support and co-develop the car of the future with our Japanese customers, adding value through our technology, especially via hot stamping to reduce weight and increase safety, also in their home market as we are already doing all over the world.”