Toshiba, a name more commonly known in consumer electronics, is in fact a global electronics company with its hands in a number of different pies. This name may also someday be stamped on the electric drive motor of your next Ford green car. It was announced today by the company that it will be expanding production capacity at a plant in Houston, Texas for “production of high-performance drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).”
Toshiba decided to do this after being awarded a contract by automobile company Ford to supply drive motors for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It will be the company’s first overseas manufacturing base for automotive propulsion motors which are currently produced in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Construction for the expansion will begin early next year, with production of the motors beginning in 2012.
Toshiba, which also works on other automotive technologies such as on-board control systems and batteries, sees big potential dollars in motors for electrified vehicles. It believes that the global market will grow from 50 billion yen in fiscal year 2009 to 1 trillion yen in fiscal year 2020. The establishment of expanded production operations in Houston will allow it to increase its American green car motor presence as well as establishing closer contact and collaboration with automobile manufacturers.
“Toshiba recognizes the importance of localizing production within North America to ensure long term growth and make a commitment to the North American market,” said Shinichiro Akiba, President of Toshiba’ Group’s Toshiba International Corporation, in a statement.