Leading Brazilian plastics auto parts molder Plascar SA has launched a new $30 million line to manufacture bumpers for Fiat's Palio car model in Brazil. Plascar started up the bumper injection molding and painting line in mid-June at a plant in Betim, in the state of Minas Gerais, where Fiat's main Brazil-ian assembly line is located. The new line, designed by Fiat technicians, will allow the company to respond to requests from the vehicle builder in less than two hours.
Plascar is part of Organizacao Sistemas e AdministracÃµes SA, a Brazilian firm that was acquired last year by BTR plc, a London-based industrial conglomerate.
The Plascar line is the second set up by OSA at Betim. Another OSA subsidiary, Plavigor SA, has a plant in Betim making instrument panels for Fiat's Tempra and door panels for the Uno and Palio models.
Plascar will spend another $10 million to join the new line to the panel lines for the Tempra, according to the Brazilian financial daily newspaper Gazeta Mercantil.
Of the $30 million invested in the latest line, $16 million was financed by Brazil's national development bank BNDES.
Plascar's contract work for Fiat last year was worth $210 million and, by the end of this year, it is expected to represent 25 percent of the molder's total sales. Plascar also molds parts for other automakers, including Volks-wagen AG and Ford Motor Co.
BTR acquired the Brazilian firm for $90 million. It expects to take advantage of the continuing rapid expansion of Brazil's automotive industry.
In 1994 OSA reported sales of $147 million, and sales of $87 million for the first six months of 1995.