Japanese specialist automotive switch manufacturer Tokai Rika has invested £6 million ($US8.7 million) in a new UK switch factory to supply European car makers.
The TRB factory in Denbighshire, North Wales is the production centre for all Tokai Rika’s European car component business, forecast to be worth more than £25 million ($US36 million) by 2003.

TRB’s workforce will have risen to over 150 by then, with the company expecting to employ about 90 staff by the end of 2001.

The UK plant will specialise in multi-function switches controlling windscreen wipers, headlights and indicators, electric window controls, centre cluster panel switches for temperature controls, air conditioning and hazard lights. It will also supply cruise control, seat and fog lamp switches.

From this new UK base, TRB plans to expand its range to include seatbelts, automatic transmission controls and remote keyless entry systems, all well established Tokai Rika products.

TRB will supply EU car makers including Toyota, one of parent company Tokai Rika’s largest customers.

The UK investment gives Tokai Rika a manufacturing presence in the four main global car markets – Japan, North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

This year, TRB expects the new plant to supply over three million components worth £8 million ($US11.6 million).