TICA is expanding its already-large plant in Pendergrass, Ga.

A Toyota supplier of electronics for compressors will spend $5.5 million to expand in Jackson County, creating 27 new jobs at an already-large facility it set up nearly seven years ago to the tune of $350 million.

Toyota Industries Compressor Parts America will add 15,000 square feet to a 600,000-square-foot plant, enhancing production of DC/AC inverters and other electronics for air conditioner compressors over the next 18 months, according to a news release.

While the release didn’t explicitly mention what is driving demand, a joint Toyota-Mazda facility with a pledged $2.3 billion in investment is set to begin production next year across the border in Alabama. Toyota Industries also supplies compressors for Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and other manufacturers.

TICA’s is just the latest Japanese job-creating expansion in Georgia, even as COVID-19 dents demand for many manufacturers while forcing operational changes at others. Last week, Rome-based F&P Georgia announced a $23 million investment that would create 15 jobs at a factory that began production almost 20 years ago.

TICA is located in Pendergrass, Ga., adjacent to TD Automotive Compressor Georgia, which assembles the parts that the former produces. The combined plants represent more than $1 billion in investment, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The two companies were jointly named the governor’s automotive supplier of the year in 2017.

TD Automotive Compressor started as a joint venture between Toyota and Denso Corp. in 2005, with TICA arriving later and holding its grand opening in 2014. As of 2017, the partners had produced 30 million compressors and achieved a 25 percent share of the North American market, according to the state.

TICA’s website lists its employee count at about 400 before this latest expansion.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...