``We all know those chunky auto parts won't move production to Asia, and that's why we need to be here, near Detroit,'' said Zou Qiang, general manager of Shenzhen-based Huayisheng Mould Co. Ltd.
Zou said Huayisheng, also known as HYS, is opening a North American sales office in Windsor, Ontario, by year's end to gain access to the North American automotive market.
``Of course automakers and suppliers in the States and Canada will try to protect local mold makers. There will be a lot of competition,'' he said at trade show Plast-Ex 2007, held May 1-3 in Toronto.
Nevertheless, Zou said he is optimistic that HYS' mold exports - already 80 percent of its business - will expand rapidly. To accommodate that growth, the company has purchased about 8 acres of land in Kunshan, near Shanghai, to build a second facility. HYS already has an 861,100-square-foot factory in Shenzhen that houses high-precision and large-size tooling machines from Japan, Germany, Sweden and Spain.
``We expect to break the ground in October,'' Zou said of the new plant. By the end of 2008, HYS expects to double its current production of 800 mold sets a year.
Privately held HYS makes molds for large auto parts such as bumpers, front grilles, instrument panels, door panels, window frames and fenders for General Motors, Fiat, Ford, Nissan, Faurecia and Mazda. The $15 million tooling business exports to France, Canada, Italy, Brazil, Portugal and the U.S.
The company also supplies molds to appliance makers like Samsung, LG, Toshiba and Fujitsu.
``Appliances used to be our largest end market, but automotive is dominating now,'' Zou said.
In addition to tooling, HYS also runs more than 40 injection presses with clamping forces up to 3,086 tons to mold plastic parts for the auto, appliance and electronics industries. It also does final assembly, including the display kiosk for Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles. The molding business generates about $13 million in annual sales.
HYS employs about 800. It also has sales offices in Mexico and Brazil and operates a small-scale assembly facility in Japan.