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

Auto supplier receiving grant to help expansion

October 30, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Summit Polymers is receiving an $800,000 performance based grant to help with a $7.3 million expansion of three of its Michigan facilities.    More

Image

Magna opens new exterior facility, plans for lighting investment

October 30, 2014 1:36 pm ET

Canadian automotive supplier Magna International Inc. on Oct. 28 opened a new injection molding and robotic paint line facility in Delta Township,...    More

Image

Finalists named for 2014 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards

October 30, 2014 11:00 am ET

The Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division has selected finalists for its 2014 Automotive Innovation Awards competition. Category winners...    More

Image

Xten may shut down, working on sale to Commercial Plastics

October 29, 2014 5:49 pm ET

Xten Industries LLC is working on a sale to Commercial Plastics Co. of Mundelein, Ill. Xten, an injection molder based in Kenosha, Wis., filed a...    More

Image

Detroit Manufacturing Systems to hire 200 for F-150 production

October 29, 2014 10:40 am ET

Interior trim supplier Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC plans to hire 200 assembly workers by January to support production growth of Ford Motor Co.'...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events