Injection molding machinery maker Engel Austria GmbH inaugurated its first Chinese plant in Shanghai in mid-May.
Chief Executive Officer Peter Neumann said although Engel established manufacturing later than some competitors, the timing for the new plant - a 25 million euro (US$33.6 million) investment - reflects market development. The factory officially opened May 19.
``A wholly foreign-owned facility was not possible before, and the market is now starting to invest in high-quality machines,'' he said.
The new subsidiary, known as Engel Machinery (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., has production floor space of 86,000 square feet and office space of almost 11,000 square feet. The facility design and layout follows the blue prints of Engel's headquarters plant in St. Valentin, Austria.
The Shanghai works will produce medium and large machines. In the first phase of production, the site will make machines of 650, 900, 1,100 and 1,500 metric tons, adding production of 500-, 1,700- and 2,000-tonne machines next year.
Neumann said the Shanghai facility can provide the same quality standards as Engel's two other large-machine production facilities, in St. Valentin and York, Pa. Engel's client base in Asia is a 50-50 split between Asian and Western multinationals.
The Shanghai facility allows Engel to supply and assist with technical support for China-based customers more quickly.
Neumann said the company chose Shanghai because of proximity to customers and the availability of highly qualified technical staff.
Family-owned Engel posted sales of 545.9 million euros (US$737.2 million) for fiscal 2005-06, and employs 3,389 globally.