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Spain’s Antolin expands China auto footprint

PLASTICS NEWS EUROPE

Global auto interiors specialist Grupo Antolin has consolidated its position in the world's largest car market with the launch of a new headliners plant in northeast China.

Burgos, Spain-based Antolin opened a 125,000 square meter plant in Shenyang, Liaoning province in September, set to turn out 4,000 headliners daily, chiefly for BMW Group. It's the latest in a series of capacity expansions in the country.

Antolin's new unit will employ around 200 and serve BMW's local joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, also in Shenyang, where the partnership runs two assembly plants.

The Antolin plant is located near the Brilliance BMW factories in the China-Germany High-End Equipment Manufacturing Industry Park in Shenyang. The joint venture car maker is reported to be considering building a third assembly plant there.

Grupo Antolin said it believes the new investment in Shenyang will let it to take advantage of that expansion prospect.

That China-Germany industrial park in Shenyang could in the future become BMW Group's Asian development strategy center, Asian technology R&D center and a global export base, according to the Shenyang Daily.

Antolin's Shenyang plant is its second unit in the city since the Spanish group started production in China in 2005, when it began producing headliners for Ford and Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co.

In China, Antolin operates 14 production plants and 13 other facilities with a workforce of more than 4,000. Its latest expansion is part of a 900 million euro ($7.1 billion Chinese yuan) investment plan between 2017 and 2019.

Early this year, Antolin sealed a deal with the Chinese supplier Wuhan Donghuan Auto Cab System Co. to produce automotive window regulators jointly in China.

In May, the group launched production at a new plant located in Chengdu, Sichuan province in south western China which supplies door panels to the Geely-Volvo company.

The company anticipates global car market growth of 1 percent with sales in Europe and the United States basically flat, while China could grow by 3 percent to 4 percent, Antolin CEO Jesús Pascual Santos told PNE's sister title Automotive News Europe in August.

The group grew by 10 percent in China last year and the CEO expects it will achieve a figure of close to 7 percent this year, with its new plants allowing it to take market share in the country.

 

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