By Steve Toloken, Plastics News Staff
Shanghai, China -- Johnson Controls Inc., a global automotive interior manufacturer, is forming a joint venture in the southern Chinese city of Changsha to supply interiors for an auto assembly plant being built there by Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. and Italy's Fiat Group Automobiles SpA.
The large JCI facility, which will include injection moulding machines of up to 800 tonnes, will manufacture the interiors for vehicles produced by the new GAC-Fiat joint venture, said John Moulton, group vice president and general manager in China for the Johnson Controls Automotive Experience unit.
"We basically have the entire interior, the IP, door panels, floor console, overhead console... the key interior components," said Moulton, speaking in a 22 April interview at the Auto Shanghai 2011 show. "And we have the seating as well."
Glendale, Wisconsin-based JCI plans a groundbreaking ceremony the week of 25 April, and Moulton said it will be a "sizable investment" not only for the facility but in training a workforce in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province.
"There are not a lot of experienced automotive people in that area," he said. "We're going to have to hire the people and do a lot of training to build up the workforce there."
The JCI plant will employ 700. The GAC-Fiat auto assembly plant in Changsha is expected to start operating in mid-2012.