PHILADELPHIA - Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc. is expanding its position in PET bottles and plastic closures in South America through two new joint venture companies. The Philadelphia firm will sell 50 percent of its Crown Cork do Brazil SA aluminum can operations to Petropar SA of Purto Alegre, Brazil, and in return will buy 50 percent of Petropar affiliate Petropar Embalagens SA, a plastic container firm.
No sale price was announced. The transaction is to be completed by the end of March, when the partners said they will begin producing closures in Petropar Embalagens' facility in Horizonte, Brazil, which makes PET bottles and preforms.
Crown Cork do Brazil operates facilities in Vinhedo and Aracaju, Brazil, producing aerosol cans, food cans and metal closures. Petropar Embalagens operates four preform and bottle plants in Brazil.
Chrysler minivans to have plastic tanks
HIGHLAND PARK, MICH. - Chrysler Corp. of Highland Park will use plastic fuel tanks for its new minivans that go on sale at the end of May, and Solvay Automotive has been named supplier of the high density polyethylene tanks. Earlier models, except for all-wheel-drive versions, used steel tanks.
Solvay, based in Troy, Mich., said it expects to blow mold 550,000-650,000 of the fuel systems annually. Initially for seepage prevention, some of the tanks will be coextruded and the balance will be monolayer. Gradually, coextrusion will be phased in and by the end of the contract all will be coextruded.
The tanks will be produced at existing Solvay plants in South Bend, Ind., and Blenheim, Ontario, and shipped just-in-time to assembly plants in Windsor, Ontario and St. Louis. For Chrysler Corp. minivans assembled in Graz, Austria, tanks will be blow molded at Solvay's plant in Mulhouse, France.
Australian, Hong Kong sign makers link
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - Australia's largest plastic sign maker, Brisbane-based Albert Smith Signs Pty. Ltd., expects to increase annual sales by as much as A$50 million (US$37.2 million) through a joint venture in China with Hong Kong-based sign maker Pico Ltd.
Rodney Smith, managing director, said the venture has the potential to add A$30 million (US$22.3) to A$50 million to current annual sales of about A$30 million.
Smith said Albert Smith Signs has been doing business in Asia for several years, supplying finished products to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. The company mainly manufactures signs for fast-food chains, supermarkets and service stations, using high-impact pigmented acrylics.
Smith said the Pico joint venture will establish a factory in Shanghai that will be operational by midyear, supplying signs to multinational corporations moving into China.
Wright buys injection molder Pacer
SHERIDAN, MICH. - Wright Plastic Products Inc. has purchased Pacer Engineered Products, an injection molder with one plant and annual sales of about $3 million.
Wright injection molds parts at Sheridan, primarily for the automotive industry. Pacer makes both proprietary and custom molded parts for automotive electronics and lighting applications at its Marysville, Mich., facility.
Terms of the purchase were undisclosed.
Wright estimated 1994 sales at $13.7 million. With Pacer, it expects sales to reach $20 million in 1996. Wright is a wholly owned unit of Maxco Inc. of Lansing, Mich., a public firm serving the construction and automotive industries.
Textron Automotive lays off 90 workers
PORT HOPE, ONTARIO - Textron Automotive Interiors recently laid off about 90 dashboard production workers at its Port Hope auto parts plant, according to a local newspaper, the Cobourg Star. The layoffs reduced Port Hope's work force to 963.
Dave Cosgrove, Port Hope manager, attributed the layoffs to production changes at Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp. plants in St. Louis. Ford halved its Aerostar van production there, and Chrysler will source dashboards from Textron's plant in Columbia, Mo.
Cosgrove and Textron Automotive officials in Troy, Mich., did not return telephone calls by press time last week.
Port Hope plans to rehire 28 of the laid-off workers by June as it expands its injection molding operation, the Star noted.