It's all systems ``go'' at Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd., which is investing and growing at warp speed, along with China's auto industry.
``We're actually in the process of expanding in all of our operations,'' according to Steve Meszaros, the joint venture's Shanghai-based general manager.
The firm - which currently runs 30 very large injection machines in a total of seven China molding locations - in late June began building a second workshop in Anting, just west of Shanghai, to expand its capacity to mold instrument panels, door panels and interior trim. It has six Krauss-Maffei presses (four with clamping forces of 1,430 tons and a pair of 2,530-tonners) on order for that shop. It should be up and running by year's end. Yanfeng Visteon also plans to transfer a couple of existing presses from another Shanghai plant to that plant.
The company founded its Yanfeng Visteon (Beijing) Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd. joint venture in December 2002 but launched it in a temporary, leased site to support the rapid launch of the Hyundai Sonata in March 2003. This past May, Meszaros said, the venture opened a permanent manufacturing plant in Beijing, where it produces the low-pressure-molded door panels and soft interior trim for the Sonata, as well as instrument panels, door panels and interior trim for various Beijing Jeep and Beijing Foton trucks. The Beijing firm by January expects to complete an expansion of the plant, including two new, 3,960-ton Haitian injection presses.
He said the company already has approval for a second exterior-trim plant for the same site. That is due to be completed by mid-2005 and will produce bumpers for Beijing Jeep & Beijing Foton.
Visteon uses many Ube, Engel and Krauss-Maffei presses and less than a year ago bought its first Chinese-made Haitian machines when it launched a plant in Chongqing, China. It is expanding that site now and has a 3,080-ton and a pair of 3,960-ton Haitian machines in place, with another 3,080-ton press on order, to support the launch of the Ford C307 model, China's version of the Focus.
``In one of our older plants [in Shanghai] we do have some smaller machines, but we've been exiting that business. We mostly stay focused on the larger equipment,'' he said.
Yanfeng Visteon also is building a new plant in the Pudong region of Shanghai, next to a Shanghai General Motors Corp. Ltd. facility, and expects to complete that project by the end of next year. Meszaros said the first phase includes assembly of instrument panels and door panels, as well as just-in-time delivery of cockpit modules, but no on-site injection molding. A nearby supplier currently produces those injection molded components for Shanghai GM.
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Headquarters: Shanghai, China
* Cockpit systems & instrument panels
* Interior systems and trim
* Exterior systems
* Seating systems
* Electronic systems
* Safety systems