Idemitsu Lubricants America has opened the company’s first research and development center in North America located in Wixom, Mich., U.S.A.
Idemitsu Lubricants America invested USD 2.4 million in building and equipment costs for the new site. The company plans to spend an additional USD 2 million in new equipment and additional improvements over the next two years.
“We were looking for a central location to support the North American automotive market,” said Scott Rajala, senior regional chief engineer. “Our facilities here in the U.S. support both North and South America and while we’ve been primarily been an Asian OEM supplier for the better part of 50 years, our strength here is to grow and build a business with the North American OEMs, so we wanted to make sure we were central to the automotive market.”
As a 100 % subsidiary of Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan, Idemitsu Lubricants America is a member of the Idemitsu group, one of the top 10 global lubricant manufacturers.
In the United States, Idemitsu began supplying lubricants in the late 70’s. Idemitsu Lubricants America Corporation was founded in 1991 as Apollo America Corporation, a 100% subsidiary of Idemitsu Kosan. In 2006 Apollo America changed its name to Idemitsu Lubricants America to unify the Idemitsu name around the world. In 1992, Idemitsu Lubricants America built a state-of-the-art lubricant blending facility in Jeffersonville, Ind.
“Idemitsu on a global basis is a large petroleum company, but in North America we’re just a lubricant provider, so we work directly with the OEMs whether they are the Asian OEMS or the U.S. OEMs.”
Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. is Idemitsu Kosan’s largest global customer.