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ABC Group grows in Mexico, Tennessee

By: Kerri Jansen

April 25, 2014

ABC Group Inc. is refocusing its growth efforts in Mexico and Tennessee following the sale of its fuel systems business.

State Development Investment Corp. of Beijing, a major investor in Yapp Automotive Parts Co. Ltd., announced it purchased 100 percent of ABC Group Fuel Systems Inc. and its Gallatin, Tenn., plant for an undisclosed amount.

SDIC’s purchase came through its Rongshi International Holding Co. Ltd.

Yapp is the biggest plastic fuel tank maker in China, holding 50 percent of the market share, according to SDIC’s website. Yapp and ABC formed a strategic alliance in 2010 to marry Yapp’s strength in China with ABC’s North American presence; the sale was the next logical step, said Mary Anne Bueschkens, who sits on the board of Toronto-based ABC.

“We had been global alliance partners, but eventually we needed to make something more meaningful, I think, for the customers. The customers were looking for something more connected,” Bueschkens said.

The sale will allow the company to build on its six major business units globally, she added.

“[Yapp is] going to have an incredible global powerhouse in fuel now, so we’re really happy for them. But for us as well, I think it helps us to focus on being global in our other six business units, and we can actually really start focusing on growth more in those areas,” she told Plastics News.

ABC recently opened its fourth facility in Mexico, to handle increasing business from OEMs including Chevrolet and Mazda. Located in Querétaro, the plant currently employs 35 and will grow to about 120 employees over the next eight months, Bueschkens said.

ABC is also breaking ground on a new facility to be built in Gallatin, the location of its former fuel systems business. The 185,000-square-foot facility is being built to handle the company’s growing business in interior consoles and is expected to be completed in January 2015.