SAO JOSE DOS PINHAIS, BRAZIL — Johnson Controls Inc.'s newest plant in South America opened its doors in March, and is aimed at furnishing complete seat systems to VW/Audi.
The $12 million facility, in Sao Jose dos Pinhais, was designed to assemble seats using components from different sources. Currently 90 percent of these items are imported, while local suppliers await word on whether they meet VW/Audi quality standards, according to Karl Schmitz, sales account manager for Johnson Controls do Brasil Automotive Ltda. in Sao Jose dos Pinhais.
``There are expectations that we can provide, from this unit, interior components for new car programs that may come here in the near future,'' Schmitz said.
The JCI plant will source 60 percent of its components locally by the end of 1999, Schmitz said. Ninety percent of the injection molded parts will be fed by Dr. Schneider Plasticos Ltda. of Sao Bernardo do Campo, a joint venture owned by members of the Brazilian Macisa group and German plastics processor Dr. Schneider.
Copo Feher Ind£strias de Poliuretano do Brasil Ltda. of Quatro Barras, Brazil, is supplying foam padding. Metal frames also will be outsourced to manufacturers and installed locally.
JCI's unit in Sao Jose dos Pinhais occupies a 108,000-square-foot building, including industrial and administrative activities. Currently, it employs 58. The total work force is scheduled to reach 180 by the end of 2000.
JCI's automotive headquarters is in Plymouth, Mich.