An international plastics manufacturer has announced plans to move its U.S. headquarters to San Antonio, the fourth business in the past year to relocate to the area.

The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation said Wednesday that plastics manufacturer Nissei America will consolidate the company’s U.S. operations in San Antonio, relocating its main office from Anaheim, California, to its facility at Brooks in July. The others making the move to San Antonio from other areas include Pabst Brewing, battery manufacturer Saueressig Engineering, and tech company Skipcart.

Nissei officials cited San Antonio’s proximity to growing markets in Mexico and access to the Port of Houston as reasons for the move. 

“In addition, the region has one of the largest concentrations of employment in the manufacturing and plastic industry in the U.S.,” said Hozumi Yoda, president of Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. The manufacturing sector employs more than 51,000 people in San Antonio, according to the economic development foundation, with the top employers being Toyota, Caterpillar, and DPT.

Nissei specializes in injection molding, and researches and develops injection molding machines as well as its molds, molding support systems, and mold processing technologies.

The company opened the San Antonio production facility, its third outside of Japan, in May 2018, investing $21 million in a 115,000-square-foot plant for assembling hybrid injection molding machines. 

By consolidating its operations in San Antonio, Nissei will combine all North American production and sales operations under one roof, according to a statement from the economic development foundation. 

A map on the Nissei website indicates there are 13 sites in North America, two in Europe, multiple plants across Southeast Asia, and 20 in Japan, where Nissei was founded in 1947. The company opened its first U.S. subsidiary in 1977. 

“Welcoming another global partner such as Nissei is a testament to the diverse, inclusive, and quality business environment that San Antonio is developing for target industry and headquarters operations,” said Rolando Pablos, chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation International Advisory Council. 

In 2020, more than half of all companies the economic development foundation successfully recruited to San Antonio came from California, according to the group’s annual report. It’s part of a statewide trend as companies and CEOs alike flee California and other states on both the East and West coasts in search of lower real estate prices, business-friendly tax laws, and fewer business regulations.

“Texas continues to be an exceptionally attractive location for business, and particularly here in our San Antonio community where we have built a diverse industry and talent base to foster headquarters growth,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. 

“Our community’s strategic focus on adding quality manufacturing jobs and educating our workforce to take those great jobs initially brought Nissei to San Antonio,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “We are thrilled to see their investment grow with the relocation of Nissei America’s U.S. headquarters operation.”  

The company said it plans to hire additional employees in San Antonio, but officials did not detail the number of new positions that would be created as a result of the consolidation. In 2018, the plant opened with nine employees and planned to add another 11 before the end of that year, and up to 60 within three years.  

Nissei is the second international company in recent months to select Brooks, a former Air Force base converted through a public-private partnership into a mixed-use development, for a headquarters facility.

In May, the chairman of international food manufacturer Cuisine Solutions announced at the opening of its new $200 million facility that it plans to move its worldwide headquarters to the former Air Force installation in the coming year. The largest investment on Brooks campus to date, Cuisine Solutions is one of 50 businesses now operating there. 

“We have witnessed tremendous momentum in our community since Nissei chose to grow at Brooks five years ago,” said Leo Gomez, president and CEO at Brooks. “The addition of Nissei America’s U.S. headquarters furthers Brooks’ vision to serve as a world-class region encompassing transformative investments which contribute to San Antonio’s success.”  

Shari Biediger has been covering business and development for the San Antonio Report since 2017. A graduate of St. Mary’s University, she has worked in the corporate and nonprofit worlds in San Antonio...