Dr. Schneider opens first Asia site

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: May 1, 2012 6:00 am ET

Wu Hongbo, China's ambassador for Germany (second from left), in March visited Dr. Schneider Group’s headquarters plant in Kronach, Germany. (Dr. Schneider Group photo)

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Injection Molding

BEIJING (May 1, 3:30 p.m. ET) — German automotive plastics supplier Dr. Schneider Group officially opened its first Asian plant April 26 in the northeastern Chinese city of Liaoyang. Company leaders discussed the development on the day prior in Beijing, where the firm was exhibiting at the Automotive News China Conference.

The facility will begin by assembling plastic molded cosmetic mirrors for two lines of BMW cars – the 3 Series and 5 Series – said Klaus Fricke, president and CEO of Dr. Schneider Holding GmbH. Fricke said his firm has rented space in an existing facility from a local partner, and refitted it to match the layout of its other plants in Germany and elsewhere. The group has been represented in China for many years by a sales and sourcing office.

Yubo Wang has been named managing director of the Chinese operation, officially named Dr. Schneider Automotive Parts (Liaoyang) Co. Ltd.

The hinged housings for the mirrors are made from a polycarbonate/ABS resin blend, and are ceiling mounted in the vehicles. Fricke said he anticipates output of 12,000 mirrors a month from the Liaoyang plant. The components will be imported from Germany until the company starts molding them in China.

Plans are to invest 2.5 million euros in the new facility by the end of 2014, he said. Phase two of the project will involve installing an unspecified number of injection molding presses within the same time frame. Dr. Schneider currently runs 353 injection presses worldwide and uses primarily KraussMaffei and Engel models. The project’s third phase will add painting capabilities – but not before 2015, Fricke said.

The new plant now has about 30 assembly workstations and began training workers and installing equipment in December. Fricke says the Chinese workers are every bit as good, quality-wise, as their German counterparts. He expects the plant to employ a work force of 100 once the operation adds molding capabilities.

The resin is at least as expensive in China as is Europe, Fricke noted, but he still does not rule out the possibility that the China plant eventually could mold and assemble parts such as the mirrors and cost-effectively ship them back to Germany. The goal is for the group to make in Liaoyang all the components that it produces for the Chinese market, he said.

Based in the Bavarian town of Kronach-Neuses, Dr. Schneider Group makes a variety automotive components such as air vent systems, cup holders, door frames, center consoles and instrument panel modules. Founded in 1927 and still family owned, the firm counts as customers automakers such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar/Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche and Rolls-Royce. It has production at four plants in Germany, as well as in Brazil, Slovakia, Spain, Poland and the United States.

The company continues to look to emerging markets for growth. As previously reported by Automotive News Europe, Dr. Schneider in late January confirmed plans to invest another 2.5 million euros to build a new, 100-employee plant in Zacatecas, Mexico. Construction will begin this fall, with production due to start next spring. Fricke confirmed those plans remain on track, and that the Mexico plant will be affiliated with the company’s U.S. factory in Howell, Mich.

Dr. Schneider Group reported a 12.1 percent increase in 2011 sales, to 314 million euros ($415 million), from 280 million euros in 2010. The company employs about 2,800 employees worldwide.


Comments

Dr. Schneider opens first Asia site

By Robert Grace
Associate Publisher & Business Development Director

Published: May 1, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Private equity firm buys majority share of truck accessory maker

July 31, 2014 10:30 am ET

A majority share of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based truck accessory manufacturer Tectum Holdings Inc. has been acquired by Boston-based private equity firm TA ...    More

Spain's ITC Packaging acquires Coveris rigids plant

July 31, 2014 9:59 am ET

International packaging group Coveris Holdings has sold its Spanish business Coveris Rigid Spain, including an injection molding plant, to the...    More

Image

Tessy investing $10 million in new plant, infrastructure

July 30, 2014 4:57 pm ET

Tessy Plastics Corp. continues to buy factory buildings in upstate New York — acquiring a 112,000-square-foot former Honeywell building in...    More

Image

Magna expanding interiors site in Slovakia

July 29, 2014 1:47 pm ET

Magna International Inc. plans to nearly double the size of its manufacturing facility in Trnava, in western Slovakia, to accommodate new automotive...    More

Image

One51 adding injection molder Straight to its bin molding portfolio

July 29, 2014 10:12 am ET

Dublin-based One51 plc has had its purchase of British trash bin maker Straight plc cleared by the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority.    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events