Clemson University President James P. Clements at CU-ICAR as JTEKT announces the campus as its North American headquarters.

Clemson University President James P. Clements at CU-ICAR as JTEKT announces the campus as its North American headquarters.

GREENVILLE — JTEKT, a global supplier of automotive components, announced an expansion of its existing facility at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), and named the location its North American headquarters.

The expansion means a $1.75 million build out, expected to be completed in early 2016, and 27 new professional jobs for South Carolina’s Upstate.

The announcement is a ringing endorsement for the 250-acre CU-ICAR campus, where leading automotive engineers and Clemson University faculty and graduate students partner with industry to develop a multitude of automotive technologies.

“The goal for CU-ICAR is to provide a dynamic environment where global leaders in the automotive industry can be located together and work together, and it is exciting to see JTEKT call the CU-ICAR campus home,” Clemson University President James P. Clements said at a news conference at the CU-ICAR campus. “It’s a win for Clemson students, faculty and staff; it’s a win for JTEKT; and it’s a win for South Carolina’s economy.”

“Our operational headquarters in Greenville County and CU-ICAR will provide an efficient base to support our extensive footprint in North America,” said JTEKT Chief Operating Officer Mike Davidson. “The availability of professional and technical talent, proximity to the majority of our production facilities and the quality of life in the Upstate makes this a great move for our organization.”

JTEKT, formed in 2006 through a merger of bearings manufacturer Koyo Seiko and machine tool manufacturer Toyoda Machine Works, employs more than 44,000 people worldwide, and more than 7,000 in North America. It supplies JTEKT-brand automotive steering and driveline components, Koyo-brand bearings and Toyoda-brand machine tools.

“JTEKT North America has been a fantastic partner to South Carolina, and we’re excited that they have decided to build this operation headquarters at Clemson’s ICAR facility. These 27 new jobs really will make a difference in the lives of South Carolinians, and that’s a real reason to celebrate,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement.

END