Topy Industries has decided to make a capital investment of US$36m (approx. JPY4bn) in the Kentucky Plant of Topy America, a subsidiary in the US. It said its aims to make it ‘the world’s number one steel wheel plant by operating new facilities in 2020’.

The Kentucky Plant has been operating as a US base for the production of automotive steel wheels since 1986, and has maintained a high level of operation in recent years against the backdrop of expanding auto production in the US. In light of these circumstances, it says it will ‘dramatically improve the plant’s productivity by introducing state-of-the-art equipment to the aged assembly lines of rims and paint lines’. At the same time, the Kentucky Plant will be renovated to make it an eco-and worker-friendly plant that is able to deliver a better performance by introducing a predictive maintenance system and energy- and labour-saving equipment using IoT and other technologies.

Positioning the automotive wheel business as a growth driver in “Growth and Change 2018,” Topy says it is striving to increase its presence as a global wheel supplier capable of delivering wheels to standard designs anywhere in the world by expanding its production facilities globally and bolstering alliances. As part of this strategy, the capital investment this time aims to strengthen the company’s supply system in the US, where the world’s major auto makers are developing production bases. Viewing the US as the most important market for Topy to build on its reputation as a global supplier, it says it will increase the production capacity of the Kentucky Plant to enable ‘sustainable growth of the automotive wheel business by meeting customer needs and responding to increasing demand for large-sized wheels for pickup trucks and SUV models’.