Warren County will be getting an estimated 150 news jobs as automotive supplier Sansin has finalized plans to move into Spec Building 3 at Mt. View Industrial Park in Morrison.
The company established a local presence about a year ago, operating inside the old Carrier building. The move to Spec Building 3 will allow Sansin to attain rapid growth as it supplies nearby Yorozu with a number products.
“We will come in at full speed and do the best we can,” said Sansin president Naoyuki Ito during the announcement Friday afternoon at Yorozu.
Ito said Sansin has been manufacturing automotive parts for 40 years in Japan. One of its specialties has been exhaust systems. Ito said any Honda vehicle made since 2000 has been equipped with Sansin exhaust parts.
“We’ve been shipping to North America for a long time,” said Ito.
It’s Sansin’s relationship with Yorozu which has allowed the company to expand to the point of leasing Spec Building 3. Yorozu has experienced tremendous growth over the past two years and now has in excess of 1,700 local employees, according to Jack Phillips, president of Yorozu America Corporation.
“We have no more space in our plant,” said Phillips. “There’s no room to put another line and we have the new Maxima coming in next year and the Murano too. We’re not going to be able to take that new business into this plant. We don’t have the space. Sansin will allow us to outsource some of our business to them and that will let us get by for the next couple of years.”
Phillips said Yorozu has been working with Sansin for about a year to find a suitable production facility. The two plants are located less than a mile away.
Sansin has been doing stamping, machining, sub-assembly, fabrication and sanding for Yorozu.
Spec Building 3 is mostly complete on the outside, but still has several things to finish inside. According to contractor Keith Bouldin of Tri-State Development, the list of inside work still to do includes bathrooms, offices, a sprinkler system and heavy-duty electrical lines. Plans are for Sansin to be partially moved in by the first of the year.
Phillips told local officials in attendance the future looks extremely bright for Sansin.
“We’ll definitely fill that building right up and we may need more than that,” he said.
During the economic downturn, Yorozu closed plants in Canton, Miss., and Battle Creek, Mich., and moved all its manufacturing work to Warren County. That wasn’t a problem during the recession as automotive sales slumped.
But since the automotive industry has rebounded, Yorozu is struggling to handle its workload with just one plant.
“We’re trying to keep all the business here that we can, but it’s been a challenge,” said Phillips.
County Executive John Pelham realizes the potential Sansin brings to the area.
“Approximately 23 years ago, Yorozu announced it would be bring 100 or 200 jobs here and we all know how that turned out,” Pelham told the three Sansin representatives. “We’re equally excited about Sansin and having you here. This is a wonderful day for our county. We’re truly honored you came here.”
County Commissioner Les Trotman encouraged Sansin officials to ask for the county’s assistance in any way possible. He said this could be on a business or personal level.
Industrial Development Board director George Burke brought homemade jam for the Sansin representatives as a show of thanks.