Japan’s Daicel Chemical is to build a US factory to produce airbag inflators with 80 percent of the parts made in-house.

North American production is scheduled to start in July 2002 at the new Daicel Safety Systems America plant in Kentucky, owned 66 percent by Daicel and 34 percent by Toyoda Gosei.

Eighty percent of the components will be produced in-house but initiators and coolants will be imported from a Japanese factory.

Annual production targets are 1.2 million driver’s side units and one million front passenger side units.

Daicel wants a 20 percent share of the global airbag inflator market.