JTEKT Automotive Tennessee-Morristown Inc. in Morristown, TN, will expand its aluminum diecasting operation as part of a $50-million capital investment announced recently. The project’s goal is to add production capacity for a new automotive pump technology.

In its announcement, JTEKT Automotive said the expansion project is prompted by strong automotive market demand, new business, and product diversification plans. In addition to new diecasting capacity, the operation will be adding more machining, assembly, and testing operations.

The new diecasting capacity would be available later this year, while the new pump product line would begin production in mid 2013. Reportedly, the investments would establish about 125 new jobs at the Tennessee plant. Current employment there is 670.

Formerly known as Toyoda-Koki Automotive North America, JTEKT Automotive Tennessee-Morristown is a subsidiary of Japan’s JTEKT Corp. and manufactures electric and hydraulic automotive steering systems; steering components, including power steering; hydraulic pumps and reservoirs; and steering gears, columns, and shafts.

“These projects support a strong strategy with our customers to localize the manufacturing of steering and driveline products to avoid unfavorable foreign exchange rates and increasing global logistic costs,” stated Mike Davidson, president of JTEKT Automotive Tennessee-Morristown. “This announcement is a vote of confidence from JTEKT Corporation in the abilities of our team members, this operation, and the community from which we draw our resources.”