To keep pace with its auto-motive customers, injection molder Siegel-Robert Inc. is opening sales and engineering offices in eight countries. The offices will be based in England, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Japan and Mexico. Some of the automotive offices will be at sites where St. Louis-based Siegel-Robert already has corporate offices, said Executive Vice President John Chiodo.
The firm's automotive business operates seven molding plants, most in the central United States.
In England, Siegel-Robert also is establishing a full-time design and engineering office to serve customer Ford Motor of Europe, Chiodo said.
John A. Leech, a former engineering manager at Ford's design center in England, has been appointed director of engineering, Europe.
Chiodo said Siegel-Robert is boosting its international automotive presence because automakers are demanding that suppliers follow them into new and developing markets.
``They want everybody to be as global as possible,'' he said.
Siegel-Robert, with 3,000 employees in its automotive unit,produces a variety of injection molded parts including chrome-plated grilles, complete exterior mirrors, molded and decorated nameplates and ornaments, wheel covers, spoilers, door handles and taillight lenses.
The company, founded in 1946, has a large plastic electroplating operation and uses a variety of other processes including glass encapsulation, insert molding and assembly.
The firm, which also molds parts for the appliance industry, said it will begin manufacturing at a new site in the Far East.
Siegel-Robert, however, did not disclose the site or the nature of the products to be molded.