Toyota affiliates to build $14M plant in Franklin-WEB ONLY

Subsidiaries of Toyota Group plan to invest $14.2 million to build a plant in Franklin that would supply the automotive industry with plastic parts.

Premium Composite Technology North America is expected to employ 37 workers and begin operations in the spring of 2010. Franklin Mayor Fred Paris welcomed the announcement, citing the roughly $20-an-hour wage employees would earn.

“Every dollar I can get into my community is very much needed,” he said this morning.

The Toyota announcement follows a decision yesterday by another Japanese company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Climate Control, to idle production at its Franklin plant, putting 87 workers out of a job.

Premium Composite would produce engine covers, intake manifolds, rearview mirrors and brake lights for Toyota, Honda and Nissan, as well as for American automakers.

Toyota Tsusho Corp., Kentucky-based subsidiary Toyota Tsusho America Inc. and Tokyo-based Sanyo Kaka Co. are investing in the joint venture. Toyota Tsusho, the sixth-largest trading company in the world, would own 80 percent of Premium Composite.

The plant would be located within a Franklin tax-increment financing district at Musicland Drive and Graham Road east of U.S. 31. Construction on the 64,000-square-foot factory should start in June.

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