A powerful new automotive plastics supplier is being formed in Scandinavia with the planned merger of Norwegian Hydro Raufoss Automotive's Bumper Systems unit with Granges Autoplastics of Sweden.
The new joint venture, to be based near Goteborg, Sweden, and called Autoplastics, will claim about 10 percent of the European market for painted bumper systems, according to Hydro Raufoss' parent, Norsk Hydro ASA of Oslo, Norway.
Under the terms of an initial agreement, Swedish aluminium firm Granges AB of Goteborg will hold a 60 percent share of Autoplastics, while Hydro will take a 40 percent stake, according to Norsk Hydro.
The merger of the plastics subsidiaries should be finalized during the spring of this year, according to Norsk Hydro.
The merged operations achieved combined sales of more than 2.5 billion Swedish kronor ($314 million) in 1998 and together employ 1,900.
Bumper Systems makes plastic bumpers and spare parts for all Volvo models produced in Goteborg and Uddevalla in Sweden and Gent, Belgium. It has manufacturing and development plants in Raufoss, Norway, Gent and Goteborg.
Granges Autoplastics makes exterior and interior automotive plastics components, with customers including BMW, Audi, Iveco, Saab, Volvo and Scania. It has operations in Sweden, Italy, Finland and a new facility in Poland.
``Through this transaction, we take an active part in the consolidation of the automotive suppliers' market. We are creating a competitive platform for continued growth within interior and exterior plastics for the automotive industry,'' said Arvid Moss, chief executive officer of Hydro Raufoss Automotive.