TORONTO - Two offshore auto parts firms have announced plans for new plants to make plastic components in southern Ontario. RSL R. Schmidt GmbH of Lennestadt, Germany, opened a plant in Scarborough, near Toronto, on Sept. 23. Its C$2.5 million (US$1.8 million) investment includes a 500-ton injection press and a 100-tonner, both supplied by Engel Canada Inc. of Guelph, Ontario. It named the Scarborough operation RSL Manufacturing Inc.
On the same day, Moriroku Co. Ltd. of Tokyo announced it will spend about C$16 million (US$11.7 million) to build and equip a 116,000-square-foot auto parts injection molding plant in Listowel, Ontario. It plans to start production next summer.
RSL Manufacturing President Reinhard Kelz said his operation mainly will make handles, headrests and other interior parts out of polypropylene and acetal resins. It also will produce metal parts such as seat-belt components. Kelz, in a telephone interview, said he expects RSL to buy more Engel molding equipment by year-end and will add more space to its facility next year. He provided no additional details.
RSL Manufacturing will take over production of some parts its German parent has shipped to Volkswagen AG and General Motors Corp. plants in North America. Kelz said his firm is starting with 12 employees but has targeted annual sales of C$25 million (US$18.3 million) in three years, when it expects to employ up to 100.
Privately held RSL has global annual sales of about 200 million deutsche marks (US$132 million). Its other production plants are in Lennestadt, its largest, and in Borja, Spain, and Vendas Novas, Portugal. It began injection molding in 1964 and was founded by Robert Schmidt, its chief executive officer. It has a total of 130 injection presses as large as 600 tons and does gas-assisted and two-component molding.
RSL's customers include GM, Volkswagen, Opel, Saab-Scania AB, BMW AG, Audi, Ford Motor Co. and Vauxhall. Its European plants are ISO 9000 certified.
Moriroku's new operation, Listowel Technology Inc., will mold plastic parts for Honda of Canada Manufacturing's plant in Alliston, Ontario, and will line up other work, according to Mickey Takeu-chi, planning manager for Mori-roku. Listowel Technology will start with six presses, probably sourced from Japan, Takeuchi said in a telephone interview from Greenville, Ohio, where his firm has a molding subsidiary called Greenville Technology Inc.
Takeuchi said the Listowel plant will mold exterior parts such as front grilles and interior parts such as visors, consoles and air outlets. Listowel will expand to 17 presses by 2000, he predicted. The operation will be owned by Moriroku and Green-ville Technology. The latter be-gan molding in 1987 and its main customers are Honda and GM. Moriroku also has plants in Japan and the Philippines. It employs more than 1,500.