Yang Jian, Automotive News
Ningbo, Zhejiang - Recticel NV, a Belgian polyurethane-based interior parts producer, has set up a joint venture in Ningbo of eastern China´s Zhejiang province to supply automakers in China.
Recticel owns a 33 percent stake in the new company, Recticel Inoac Huaxiang Co. (RIHX). The other 67 percent is held by Ningbo Inoac Huaxiang Automobile Products Co. (IHX).
Recticel and IHX invested $6 million (Yuan 40.9 million) in the venture, which was set up 6 Oct. RIHX will make polyurethane sprayed skins for instrument and door panels, glove boxes and cover parts used in middle and high class cars, said Stephane De Dycke, general manager of RIHX.
The new company has already signed contracts with clients in China to supply 5.7 million parts valued at about Yuan 500 million yuan ($73.3 million), Recticel said.
Utilising factory buildings of IHX, the new venture will first start supplying the Skoda Octavia sedan made by Shanghai Volkswagen Co., an auto manufacturer jointly owned by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. and Volkswagen AG.
In 2009, it will supply a slightly higher priced Skoda car, currently known as the Model S. By 2010, RIHX will also start supplying the Peugeot 407 sedan to be built by Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co., a joint venture between Dongfeng Motor Corporation and the PSA Group.
Since an increasing number of international and domestic Chinese automakers have shown interest in Recticel´s polyurethane sprayed skins, RIHX expects to build production facilities in the south and north of China to supply automakers there, said RIHX President Zhou Xiaofeng.
He declined to provide detailed expansion plans.
Incorporated in 2002 in Ningbo, IHX itself is a joint venture between Japanese parts maker Inoac Co. and Ningbo Huaxiang Electronics Co., a leading Chinese automotive interior supplier.
Automotive News is a sister publication to Urethanes Technology International.