Governor Granholm: Tokai Rika to Expand Its Operations in Battle Creek, Jackson and Plymouth

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

July 28, 2005

Toyota Affiliate to Create 230 New Jobs, Invest $50 Million
LANSING – After meeting with Tokai Rika Chairman Yoshihei Iida and President Kiyoshi Kinoshita in Nagoya, Japan, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the company will invest $50 million to grow its operations in Battle Creek, Jackson, and Plymouth, creating 230 new jobs by 2009.
 “Tokai Rika’s plan to invest and grow in Michigan is great news for the entire state, but particularly the communities of Battle Creek, Jackson, and Plymouth,” Granholm said. “This announcement underscores once more that Michigan is the epicenter of North American automotive research, design, and manufacturing.”
One of the vital member companies of Toyota Motor Company group, Tokai Rika is engaged in the manufacturing, sales, and research and development of switches, locks and keys, seatbelts, and other auto-related products.  In Michigan, the company employs more than 1,100 people at three facilities:  TRAM, Inc. in Plymouth, which is the holding company for selling products and also houses a testing facility; TAC Mfg, Inc. in Jackson, which manufactures steering wheels, air bags, and shift levers; and TRMI, Inc. in Battle Creek, which manufactures automotive switches.
Through the business expansions, Tokai Rika plans to add 30 engineering jobs in Plymouth and 100 manufacturing jobs at each of its facilities in Jackson and Battle Creek.

Granholm’s meeting with Tokai Rika is one of numerous sessions with corporate executives during a five-day investment mission to bring increased Japanese investment and new jobs to Michigan.

Battle Creek Unlimited President and CEO James Hettinger, traveling with the Governor in Japan, also met with Tokai Rika executives there.

“As the Governor is doing for the state of Michigan, we are seeking to attract international investments to Battle Creek that will lead to economic growth and new jobs,” Hettinger said. “I am thankful that Tokai Rika’s leaders are committed to continued growth in our community.”

Established in 1948, the $2.6 billion company employs approximately 11,500 people worldwide.

The Governor’s five-day schedule in Japan this week includes individual meetings with high-level executives from 14 Japanese companies.  She is reaching out to dozens of other companies through group-setting meetings and seminars focused on the automotive and life sciences industries.  Her delegation is making contact with more than 150 representatives of business, higher education, and government during the week. 

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