SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Peguform GmbH of Botzingen, Germany, is moving on two fronts to strengthen its Latin American presence. In Mexico, the firm just opened a plant in association with Lippstadt, Germany-based Hella KG Hueck & Co., while in Brazil it is preparing to launch a new facility in December.
Both units will cater to the Volkswagen A-4 platform, mainly providing painted plastic parts such as bumpers.
In Mexico, Peguform Hella SA de CV is based in Puebla, roughly 80 miles southeast of Mexico City. Peguform owns 70 percent of the venture, and Hella owns the balance.
The partners invested about $15 million to equip a 10,700-square-foot leased building. The plant operates six Krauss-Maffei injection molding machines — five with 2,300 tons of clamping force and one with 1,600 tons — said Alberto Hagemann, general director.
The Mexican plant makes bumpers for the VW Jetta and Golf models, as well as wheel liners for the Golf and the new Beetle.
``We also mold subcomponents and spoilers, while Hella's unit in Guadalajara completes our line of products with a group of nine other small, injection molded parts,'' Hagemann said.
In Brazil, SÃo Paulo-based Peguform do Brasil Ltda. is concluding the final details to start producing bumpers and fenders in a 194,000-square-foot plant near Curitiba, in the state of Paran .
Automakers such as VW, Renault and Chrysler are adding new assembly lines in Paran .
Luis Tort, president director at Peguform's Brazilian affiliate, said the Curitiba unit will absorb a 29 million Real ($25.1 million) investment to manufacture bumpers for the VW Golf and Vento (the South American name for the Jetta) models and the VW-Audi A-3, as well as fenders for the Renault Megane Scenic and Clio vehicles.
Peguform already has ordered five Italtech presses with clamping forces of 1,000-3,000 tons and a Durr painting line. The plant will be capable of making 4,500 bumpers and 4,000 fenders per day.
``Currently, we are establishing an agreement with Chrysler, in order to paint bumpers it will initially import from Textron [Automotive Co. of Troy, Mich.], in the U.S., for its Dakota assembly line in Paran ,'' Tort said.
Peguform already is active in Argentina, where it supplies bumpers and interior and small plastic parts made by third parties for the VW Polo Classic model.