SteelSummit Holdings, Toyota Tsusho America Inc. and Southern Mobility Products have formed a new joint venture, Madison Metal Processing, to supply steel blanks to Mazda Toyota Manufacturing in Huntsville, Alabama.
The company’s new $40 million, 110,000-square-foot facility in Limestone County will bring in 40 jobs, with full production planned for mid-2022. Trial production of the steel blanks — the precursor to automotive surface body parts — is already underway. When fully operations, the plant will supply enough steel blanks for up to 300,000 vehicles.
“Toyota Tsusho is a major player in the global auto supply chain, and its new collaboration with an arm of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas unites two companies that are giants in their respective industries,” said Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. “This collaboration is another exciting development in the growth of the robust supplier network emerging in North Alabama to support the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing auto assembly facility.”
The full-service steel processing service center will specialize in blanking and warehousing steel products including hot rolled steel, cold rolled steel and exposed and coated steel products. The company estimates it will process as much as 5,000 tons of steel per month at the site.
“At MMP, we are committed to providing steel solutions that exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Kirk Lewis, chairman and president of Madison Metal Processing and chairman of Southern Mobility Products.
In addition to being a Tier 1 supplier to MTM, the company will also serve as a Tier 2 and Tier 3 supplier to other automotive suppliers.
MMP will be led by Kirk Lewis, who has held multiple roles in finance, operations and sales in the automotive industry over his 25-year career. His son, Joe Lewis, will serve as business development manager.
“MMP’s new state-of-the-art blanking operation provides us with the opportunity to support Mazda and Toyota’s new auto assembly operation and expands SteelSummit’s existing presence in North Alabama,” said Todd Rollins, CEO and president of SteelSummit Holdings.
SteelSummit Holdings, a flat rolled metals service center, has been in operation for 36 years and is headquartered in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Toyota Tsusho America Inc. has been in operation for more than 60 years, with exporting, importing, manufacturing, intermediate goods processing and logistics as its key areas of expertise. It has 71 locations across North America.
“At Toyota Tsusho, we value meaningful partnerships that get results for our customers and benefit local communities at the same time. We believe our investment in MMP will be good not just for business, but for the Huntsville region,” said Shawn O’Connor, Toyota Tsusho America group vice president and metals division head.
Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, in June, unveiled its first vehicle to be produced at the plant — the Toyota Corolla Cross. For more on the plant and the new Toyota vehicle, visit here.