DOVER, Ohio—Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. is investing in its Meteor Sealing Systems subsidiary.
The automotive supplier of rubber weatherstrips will add a 40,000-sq.-ft. addition to its facility in Dover. General Manager Thorsten Conrad said the project is in response to additional business with one of the firm's top European customers in addition to added projects from North American original equipment manufacturers.
Meteor expects its business to grow by 15 percent or so, an average of 3-5 percent over the next few years. The expansion is in progress with the building projected to be complete by the end of 2017. Equipment will be installed in the spring of 2018.
The firm is investing $5 million through 2019 on the building and the additional equipment, Conrad said. Once operational, the company will add new jobs, but Meteor is still determining an exact figure. The Dover site currently employs 300 at its 160,000-sq.-ft. facility.
“We're seeing an increase in production from our customers,” a Toyoda Gosei spokeswoman said. “That's what's driving us to expand mostly. We see that our customers have a bigger need. Their production is growing so we need to respond to that by expanding and increasing our capacity.”
The site focuses exclusively on automotive weatherstrips for SUVs, convertibles and sunroofs for primarily European and North American OEMs, but Conrad said Meteor also has some smaller programs with Asian auto makers.
The expansion will bring at least one new extrusion line plus additional finishing equipment for Dover's injection molding capabilities, which includes its door and body weatherstrips business. Conrad said production will increase about 40 to 50 percent once the new equipment is running product.
When finished, Meteor's expanded building will occupy 14 acres of land, spanning 200,000 square feet. Conrad said the firm owns about 14 more acres to expand further should demand dictate it. He praised local authorities for their assistance in the project.