By Richard Higgs, European Plastics News
Spanish car component maker Grupo Antolin is considering establishing a string of joint venture production operations across the developing world with Japanese parts supplier Kasai Kogyo.
This year, the two firms have already agreed to form a 50:50 business in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in India. The venture, Antolin Kasai-Tek Chennai Pvt. Ltd. (AK-Tek) has capital of almost €10m.
The joint business, which was recruiting personnel in May, is forecast to achieve a turnover of some €9.3 million by 2014.
Burgos, Spain-based Antolin already operates three plants in India, one of them in Pune, another in Chennai and the third, a joint venture with Krishna Maruti near Delhi. It also runs a design centre in Pune.
Meanwhile, the two companies are discussing forming more partnerships with other manufacturing units turning out plastics parts for leading automotive OEMs in Mexico, Brazil, China and Russia.
In Mexico Kasai Kogyo subsidiary Kasai Mexicana already runs a components plant at Leon in the central Guanajuato state. The firms could launch a 50:50 joint business in Leon aimed at supplying parts for Datsun trucks and Nissan cars as soon as autumn next year.
Nissan is set to raise its production capacity in Mexico to 1.3 million units per year - more than it has in Japan - when it brings on stream a new plant in Aguascalientes as soon the second half of 2013.
With investment of between €20m and €30m, the project under study would see Kasai Mexicana's existing interior parts plant output boosted by 50%, Japan's Nikkei business daily reported recently.
Antolin has four existing auto component plants in Mexico. These include two vehicle door units in Hermosillo and other parts plants in Silao and Saltillo.
Other joint ventures being studied are likely to be based on the Spanish group's existing operations in China, Russia and Brazil. Last year, Antolin launched the first stage of a new interior parts plant in St Petersburg, Russia.
In its latest annual report Antolin group referred to the exceptional growth performance of the automotive industry in the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) estimated at 10 percent against the global figure of 6 percent.
The group said it will continue to expand into high-growth markets like Asia and Latin America and analyse "inorganic growth opportunities" that will allow it to strengthen and consolidate its present competitive position.
This article first appeared in our sister publication, European Plastics News "