On Nov. 4, a host of international, state, and local government and business leaders gathered at 565 Bolton Road in Cibolo to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new AW Texas manufacturing facility at the 159-acre site the company purchased from GVDC in August 2019. The ceremony was emceed by Cibolo City Manager Robert T. Herrera and featured addresses by Aisin AW Co. President Kazuhisa Ozaki, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Toyota Motor North America Executive Vice President Chris Nielsen, Guadalupe County Judge Kyle Kutscher, Cibolo Mayor Stosh Boyle, and GVEC General Manager and CEO Darren Schauer. This groundbreaking represented the culmination of almost 12 months of work done by Schauer and his team, along with regional partners, to bring AW Texas to GVEC’s service territory in Cibolo. The deal is one of GVEC’s largest economic development projects in its 80-year history.
The Guadalupe Valley Development Corporation (GVDC), a nonprofit corporation created and operated by GVEC, whose mission is to increase business development and economic opportunity in the Cooperative’s service territory, purchased the land in 2013. The vision of GVEC was to attract a large commercial interest which would allow for the buildout of water, wastewater, gas, electric and fiber infrastructure, ultimately increasing the economic viability of this IH-10 corridor and entire region.
In late 2018, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation brought officials from Aisin AW, a Japan-based company, to view the site, and negotiations began. GVEC worked diligently with multiple government, business and public-utility partners to bring the project to fruition; the City of Cibolo, Guadalupe County, the Governor’s Office and TXDOT played major roles. AW Texas will be Aisin AW’s third U.S. transmission manufacturing facility. As a major supplier to Toyota worldwide, proximity to Toyota San Antonio was a significant catalyst in the site location decision. With Aisin AW’s announcement, Toyota North America announced an additional $391 million investment in San Antonio. Additionally, in nearby Seguin, Continental Structural Plastics, a division of Japanese company Teijan and Toyota supplier, has broken ground on a new manufacturing facility there, creating an automotive corridor in GVEC’s service territory and along IH-10.
Schauer acknowledged these developments in his address at the groundbreaking, thanking everyone involved at GVEC, GVDC, Aisin AW, Toyota, and state and local government. The event ended with the groundbreaking itself, lunch and a brief address by AW Texas President Satoru Kasuya. Afterward, there was a gift presentation and a toast celebrating the success of AW Texas.