By Lindsay Chappell, Plastics News Fulton, Mississippi - Johnson Controls Inc. is a long-trusted supplier to Toyota Motor Corp. in North America. But the interiors and seat maker has some new competition - Toyota itself.Toyota plans to rely increasingly on a newly created, affiliated supplier, Toyota Boshoku America Inc., for interiors in North America. Ultimately, Toyota plans to turn Boshoku loose to seek business from all automakers.That will represent a formidable competitor for Johnson Controls, which was one of the first US companies to win Toyota business in the 1980s.The change has nothing to do with Johnson Controls, said Kiyoshi Furuta, Boshoku's US chief executive officer and longtime Toyota executive. Toyota is trying to buffer itself from global consolidation of interiors suppliers."Interiors are dominated by only a few companies - [Johnson Controls], Lear and Faurecia," Furuta said at a media event in Fulton. "But Toyota doesn't own them. Toyota wanted to create a good competitor in that business."Johnson Controls supplies seats and interior parts to Toyota plants in Kentucky, California, Indiana, Texas and Ontario. Many of those business relations are handled by a joint venture with Boshoku called Trim Masters Inc.Trim Masters, which posted North American sales of $1120 million last year, will continue to supply parts to Toyota and may even receive manufacturing contracts from Toyota Boshoku, Furuta said.But beginning next year, when Toyota opens a RAV4 assembly plant in Woodstock, Ontario, the vehicle's complete interior, from seats to headliners, will come from a dedicated new Toyota Boshoku plant.And when Toyota opens a $1300-million Highlander assembly plant near Tupelo, Mississippi, in early 2010, those interiors will come from a second Toyota Boshoku plant 24 miles away in Fulton."Trim Masters will not expand, but it will not shrink," Furuta said. "Right now, JCI has more Toyota business than we do. In three years, it will be about even."JCI spokeswoman Debra Lacey called Furuta's comment "speculative" and said Johnson Controls would not comment on it.Boshoku announced last week that it will spend $80 million to build the Fulton supply factory. The plant will employ 500 people to make seats, door panels and carpets for 150 000 Highlanders a year. If and when Toyota expands its Mississippi plant, Boshoku will invest another $20 million in Fulton and increase employment to 1000, Furuta said.Toyota formed Boshoku three years ago by merging three affiliated parts companies in Japan. Toyota owns 39 percent of the company."