Three companies with more than a century of experience in the U.S. steel and auto industries are teaming in a joint venture called Madison Metal Processing that will operate a new, $40 million factory near Huntsville.
The companies collaborating in the venture are Toyota Tsusho America Inc., Southern Mobility Products and SteelSummit Holdings, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. of Americas.
Beginning later this year, Madison Metal Processing (MPP) will supply steel blanks — the precursor to automotive surface body parts — for up to 300,000 vehicles produced at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing auto assembly plant in Huntsville.
MMP will also provide steel products to other automotive suppliers.
The company’s 110,000-square-foot Alabama facility is bringing 40 new jobs to the region. Full production is planned for mid-2022, with trial production already under way.
“Toyota Tsusho is a major player in the global auto supply chain, and its new collaboration with an arm of Sumitomo Corp. of Americas unites two companies that are giants in their respective industries,” Governor Kay Ivey said.
“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,” she added.
As a full-service steel processing service center, MMP 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 onsite at the new Huntsville facility.
“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.
“Together, with our partners and the added benefit of our collective acumen, MMP will set the bar for quality in every steel product we deliver.”
The collaboration of the three companies brings considerable expertise to the region, with SteelSummit’s 36-year history in the U.S. steel industry and Toyota Tsusho’s six decades of operation in North America.
“At Toyota Tsusho, we value meaningful partnerships that get results for our customers and benefit local communities at the same time,” said Toyota Tsusho America group vice president and Metals division head, Shawn O’Connor.
“We believe our investment in MMP will be good not just for business, but for the Huntsville region. We are pleased to expand Toyota Tsusho’s footprint in Alabama.”
Todd Rollins, CEO and President of SteelSummit Holdings, said his company is excited about the venture in Alabama.
“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,” he said.
The $2.3 billion Mazda Toyota Manufacturing facility is scheduled to begin mass production this year, with Toyota assembling the all-new Corolla Cross sport utility and Mazda producing a SUV that has yet to be announced.
“The Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant represents a game-changing project for the North Alabama region, and its vast economic impact continues to magnify when world-class suppliers include the area in their growth plans,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“With operations like Madison Metal Processing moving in, Huntsville is solidifying its status as the auto industry’s next dynamic production center.”