Yorozu Automotive Alabama holds grand opening in Jasper

Yorozu Automotive Alabama held a ceremony in Jasper today to officially open its $100 million auto parts plant.

The Japanese-based manufacturer produces a variety of suspension and other parts for different automakers.

Yorozu broke ground on its Alabama plant just over two years ago with plans of creating 300 jobs.

Toshiyuki Yago, chief vice president of Yorozu Automotive, said the company started 2017 with 37 people and had grown to 170 employees by the end of the year.

Yago said the company loves the location in Walker County, choosing it over sites in Alabama and other states. The Jasper site just off Interstate 22 gives Yorozu easy access to automakers in Alabama and Mississippi, he said.

The 50-acre site Yorozu chose in Jasper Industrial Park was made possible by the creative use of a speculative building program with Alabama Power Company. Instead of building a building with the program, Walker County Development Authority worked with the power company to use those funds to prepare the site for construction.

Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said hopes are high for another site being prepared north of Yorozu.

“I hope the future is not too far down the road,” he said. “Just north of here we’re about to prepare a new 50-acre site, much like we prepared for this plant here, to have that to market. We know about the Toyota-Mazda announcement in Huntsville. We feel certain we’re in a position to attract suppliers to that plant.”