Delegation visiting companies with local ties

An Indiana delegation led by Gov. Mike Pence is visiting several companies in Japan that have Columbus manufacturing operations, including NTN and Toyota Industries Corp.

Pence is on his seventh jobs and economic development mission, which began Sunday and continues through today.

Thursday’s meeting with Toyota Industries Corp. recognized the upcoming 25th anniversary of subsidiary Columbus-based Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing in Columbus, Pence’s office said in a statement to media.

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing recently announced plans for a $16 million plant expansion at its Columbus plant on Inwood Drive.

The 50,600-square-foot addition will increase the total facility size to 1.1 million square feet of manufacturing and support space, including adding the new headquarters for Toyota Material Handling, North America. The Toyota campus, about six miles south of downtown Columbus, opened in 1990 and has gone through about a dozen expansions since then. The company builds three- and four-wheeled forklifts and other industrial equipment.

The delegation also visited with representatives from the Aisin Group, which has operations in Seymour, and will soon mark the 50th anniversary of its first Indiana operations. Aisin now has 10 companies throughout the state, employing more than 2,900 Indiana residents.

The delegation is traveling to Osaka today to meet with executives from NTN Corp., which manufactures and distributes bearings, driveshaft and precision equipment for the auto industry, to discuss ongoing opportunities for growth in Indiana, according to the governor’s office.

NTN Driveshaft has manufacturing locations in Columbus and Frankfort and recently announced plans to expand in Anderson — and employs about 1,600 Indiana residents.

More than 220 Japanese-based businesses operate across the Indiana, representing more than 52,000 jobs.

Columbus is home to 25 Japanese-based businesses, second in Indiana only to Indianapolis with 29.

During the trip, Pence announced that Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. will expand its Delphi operations, investing $40.6 million and creating up to 91 jobs at Indiana Packers Corp.

On Thursday, Pence and Toyota Tsusho executives announced that the company will invest more than $4.48 million to locate a new automotive parts distribution center in Jeffersonville.

That project, a joint venture with James International Group, will establish the first Magnolia Automotive Services facility outside of Mississippi and will create 26 jobs.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.