Manchester Plastics Inc. and Mexican Industries have formed a joint venture to assemble instrument panels for General Motors Corp. at a newly built plant in Detroit.
The venture, to be called Aguirre & Manchester Plastics LLC, is scheduled to begin operating in fall 1998. The companies plan to open a 40,000-square-foot plant in Detroit's Empowerment Zone, an area offering government incentives to companies relocating there. The plant will employ about 100.
Detroit-based Mexican Industries, a minority-owned auto supplier, will own 53 percent of the venture, and Manchester Plastics will hold the balance. The site is undetermined, as are investment figures, said Mexican Industries President James Merkhofer.
The plant will supply panels to GM for an unspecified passenger car launched in 2000, he said. He expects the facility to generate $66 million in annual sales.
The instrument panel face plates will be injection molded by Troy, Mich.-based Manchester Plastics and sold to the venture. Manchester Plastics officials were unavailable for comment.
The joint venture is a response to GM's push to work with more minority-owned companies. The carmaker has set a goal of generating about 5 percent of its North American business, or about $2 billion, with minority companies by 2000, said GM spokesman Dan Jankowski. The company now does about $1.6 billion in direct business with minority suppliers.
The joint venture will allow Troy, Mich.-based Manchester, a current GM supplier, to do more business with the automaker, Merkhofer said. In addition, Mexican Industries, which employs more than 85 percent of its work force from the Hispanic community, will add new assembly capabilities, Merkhofer said.
Mexican Industries expects to record about $160 million in sales this year, Merkhofer noted. Manchester Plastics recorded $187.1 million in injection molding sales last year in North America. Manchester is a unit of Charlotte, N.C.-based Collins & Aikman Corp.