LAURENS, S.C.—Fukoku America continues to strengthen its presence in the U.S. market.
The firm is in the process of adding six new machines to address additional growth within the region. The automotive supplier is investing $3 million and will install the machines two at a time in each of the first three quarters of 2019.
The firm will add about 20 jobs in conjunction with the new equipment. It currently employs about 150 people at its 105,900-sq.-ft. facility in Laurens that opened in 2001.
"We have a very aggressive sales force and a fantastic sales manager," Plant General Manager Bob Schulmeister said. "They're out there growing our business. We have some of the highest quality in the industry and we're cost-competitive."
At Laurens, Fukoku produces four product lines, all for the automotive industry: plastic constant velocity joint boots, plastic steering column boots, rubber brake booster diaphragms and rubber radiator seals. It operates a warehouse so its sister plants can ship product into the U.S. region and also allocates some of that space for customers.
The firm is primarily a Tier 2 supplier, but directly supplies Honda rubber-produced supply pulley seals.
Fukoku America is a subsidiary of Ageo, Japan-based Fukoku Co. Ltd., which makes rubber and plastic products for the automotive industry with some industrial applications. The parent company employs about 6,000 at 20 locations. After the U.S., the remaining locations are mostly in Japan with others in Thaliland, India, Vietnam, China, the Czech Republic and Mexico.