SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Benecke-Kaliko AG of Hannover, Germany, has formed a 50-50 joint venture with Brazilian vinyl processor Sansuy SA to sell plastic sheet for automotive interior parts produced in the Mercosul region.
The venture, announced April 29, is called Sansuy-Benecke Ltda. and has its headquarters in Embu, a small city close to SÃo Paulo where Sansuy has an industrial unit.
Initially, some products will be imported from Benecke-Kaliko's facilities in Germany, while others will come from Sansuy's plants in Brazil.
The venture plans to invest in a production unit, but the size, capacity and site are yet to be defined. The plant is scheduled to open in 2000, in Brazil or another country in the Mercosul trade area, said Juan Biester Giere, general manager at Sansuy-Benecke.
The new firm will begin working in June and already has established a commercial affiliate in Buenos Aires, Argentina, called Sansuy-Benecke Argentina SA.
``The subsidiary will operate using its own warehouse, selling products from Sansuy in Brazil and Benecke-Kaliko in Germany,'' he said.
Benecke-Kaliko is part of ContiTech-Group, which is owned by tire maker Continental AG, both based in Hannover.
Benecke-Kaliko has annual sales of 650 million deutsche marks ($364.3 million) and employs 2,270. It operates five plants in Germany that focus on the production of automotive trim materials, and possesses technical cooperation agreements in China, India, Japan, South Africa and Thailand. In the United States, it operates a joint venture with Sandusky Vinyl Products Corp. of Sandusky, Ohio.
Sansuy processes between 5.7 million and 6.1 million pounds of PVC compounds per month through three facilities in Brazil — two in Sao Paulo's metropolitan region and the third in Camarcari, where the firm is based. It employs 1,030 and registered $98 million in sales last year.
At present, Sansuy dedicates a major part of its sheet production to agriculture, construction, advertising, transportation and environmental protection applications.
Giere said the auto sector made up 5.5 percent of Sansuy's business in 1997, via the supply of products to General Motors, Ford, Fiat and Volkswagen. In view of the venture with Benecke-Kaliko, that sector is expected to reach 12 percent this year.
``The association gives us the access to sheet engravings already developed and approved by European automakers, as well as to specific nonhalogen material-based formulas on the verge of becoming a local demand,'' Giere said.
He said Sansuy-Benecke expects sales to reach $12 million in 1998 and $20 million in the year 2000.