TOKYO—YH America Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., will begin production of automotive air conditioning hoses in Mexico by the middle of 2014.
"Our target is domestic supply," said Brian Franklin, marketing director for YH America. "The Mexican market is growing 38 percent in the next five years as far as the volume of vehicles that will be produced there. So we think there are plenty of opportunities in Mexico."
Franklin said production in Mexico will include aluminum fittings as well.
The company plans to deliver the hoses to a Japanese car maker in Mexico, but it declined to name the customer. Franklin said YH America is not limited just to that car maker, but will market hoses to various original equipment manufacturers in the region. Nissan, Ford and Chrysler are all well-represented in Mexico.
"In working with our customer base there, most of them want suppliers who are regional and want them as close to the plants as they can," Franklin said. "The market in Mexico is going to be growing dramatically in the next four to five years."
The production will be located in the suburbs of Aguascalientes. The company said it will not build its own plant, but it rather will consign assembly to a local company.
Terms of the agreement still are being finalized, but Franklin estimates the new production will create around 20 full-time jobs in the near-term. He said that YH America hopes eventually to employ anywhere from 100 to 150 for the Mexican production.
Headquartered in Kentucky, YH America assembles and sells automotive air conditioning and power steering hoses and produces automotive windshield sealants. The subsidiary said it is the No. 1 supplier of automotive power steering hoses in the U.S, with sales to the U.S. Big Three as well as to Japanese auto makers.
YH America has automotive hose and metal fitting assembly plants in Ke