HAMAMATSU, Japan -- Katsuyama Finetech has begun operations at a new seat belt parts factory in Indonesia, adding to a network of plants in Japan and Thailand so production can be sustained should disaster strike.
The Japanese firm spent about 1 billion yen ($9.7 million) to build the new factory in an industrial park on the outskirts of Jakarta. It installed six presses with roughly the same capacity as those used at the Japanese and Thai plants, as well as four caulking machines and painting equipment.
The new plant is only partially operating now with about 15 workers, but plans call for the workforce there to grow to around 200. Annual sales are targeted at 500 million yen.
Katsuyama Finetech's Thai plant at the Rojana Industrial Park was damaged by the heavy flooding in that country in 2011, and six months were needed for production to fully recover. The company got through the crisis by moving its molds to competitors' plants and outsourcing production, in addition to other steps. But it decided to diversify production sites to reduce risk. Indonesia was chosen as the site for the new plant because Japanese automakers have large market shares there, the market is growing, and it is relatively close to Thailand.