Becker Group has leapt into the manufacturing of automotive exterior components through a joint venture with Compagnie Plastic Omnium SA. Becker Group of Sterling Heights, Mich., and Plastic Omnium of Paris set up a 50-50 joint venture - P&B Automotive LLC in Anderson, S.C. - to produce exterior body panels and bumper fascia for the auto industry.
Plastic Omnium sold its year-old, Anderson, S.C., automotive systems manufacturing facility and its Troy, Mich., engineering office to the joint venture. Plastic Omnium retained its automotive fuel tank production in Anderson.
Plastic Omnium established the 109,000-square-foot facility in South Carolina to supply painted bumper fascia, body panels and fuel tanks to BMW AG's automobile assembly plant in Greenville, S.C., and to General Motors Corp.
Bob Albert, chief operating officer for Becker, said the joint venture will continue to supply products to BMW and GM, and will seek other customers.
Becker Group is providing the joint venture design and engineering capabilities, and access to North American and German automakers, Albert said. He said that Becker Group's customers are seeking suppliers with the ability to supply painted exterior components especially for facilities in developing countries.
``Plastics Omnium has outstanding Class A paint capabilities,'' Albert said in an interview Nov. 21 by telephone from his office in Sterling Heights.
Phillipe Clay, an executive of Plastic Omnium, was named to lead the joint venture, Albert said.
The joint venture was established Nov. 8, Albert said.