Arvin Sango Inc. marks 20 years at Madison plant

The Toyota exhaust systems
supplier plans to expand

By Don Ward

Click here to view more photos
from the ceremony on
Oct. 12, 2006.

(November 2006) – Arvin Sango Inc. on Oct. 12 celebrated the 20-year anniversary of a joint venture agreement signing with a ceremony in Madison that included Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and representatives of both ArvinMeritor and its Japanese partner, Sango of Japan. The event was held in recognition of the 1986 signing of a 50-50 joint venture agreement between Arvin Industries (now ArvinMeritor) and Sango of Japan.
Originally formed to supply Toyota’s first U.S. assembly plant in Georgetown, Ky., with exhaust systems, Arvin Sango has grown from one plant to three, and now supplies 75 percent of Toyota’s exhaust systems in North America.

Mitch Daniels, Ed Bennett and Dwayne May

Photo by Don Ward

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels chats
with Arvin Sango Inc. team members
Ed Bennett, left, and Dwayne May prior
to the Oct. 12 ceremony. The two are
among 40 original employees
at the Madison plant.

“We are honored to celebrate 20 years of loyal service for our customers in North America,” said Arvin Sango President Yasushi Kuniminato. “Our longevity is the direct result of the dedication and talent of Arvin Sango members who put the needs of the customer first by delivering high quality products, on time.”
The company has grown from approximately 100 members (employees) when its doors opened in 1988, to more than 800 members today located between its three U.S. production facilities in Madison, Campbellsburg, Ky., and Merced, Calif.
Today, Arvin Sango employs 750 at its Madison plant, 85 in Campbellsburg and 68 in Merced. Forty of Arvin Sango’s original 100 members still work at the Madison plant and were honored during the celebration event.
The celebration included several speeches by local and state dignitaries, including the governor, ASI President Kuniminato, ASI Vice President Dan Baughman, U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel and Madison Mayor Al Huntington. Simon Nagata of Toyota North American also spoke, along with Kozo Tsunekawa, Arvin Sango’s first president who is now president at Sango.
During the event, Baughman announced that the company’s board earlier that morning had approved moving ahead with negotiations to purchase an adjacent 40 acres for expansion. The company recently installed two large presses in an expansion that costs $15 million to service Toyota.
The event included the presentation by ASI of a $10,000 check to the local Jefferson County United Way. Baughman said a recent fundraiser organized by ASI employees raised $8,000 for the United Way.
Local artist Larry Rudolech created a large painting of ASI’s plant that was presented to the company during the celebration event.
Afterward, Daniels said the the company represents a great example of how successful joint ventures operate today. As a former businessman, he spent time in Japan and said he is familiar with the Japanese way of doing business.
“They take care of their employees but also demand a lot from them. They offer us an excellent business model.” He called the joint venture a “win-win situation” for all involved.
ArvinMeritor Inc. is a premier global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry.
The company serves light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers and certain aftermarkets. Headquartered in Troy, Mich., ArvinMeritor employs approximately 29,000 people at more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 25 countries.

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