Machinery manufacturer Engel Austria GmbH plans to double the capacity of its Shanghai injection press assembly plant, to meet growing demand in Asian automotive and other markets using the large-tonnage machines made there.
Schwertberg, Austria-based Engel makes presses with clamping forces above 500 tons in Shanghai, and hopes to have the capacity expansion completed sometime next year, Engel CEO Peter Neumann said in a June 3 e-mail.
Engel opened the Shanghai plant in 2007, with production space of 86,000 square feet. The 250 million yuan (US$36.6 million) factory's layout and design followed its headquarters plant in Austria, officials said at the time.
Neumann said the Shanghai factory currently is operating at maximum capacity, as the company sees strong business in China and Asia, particularly from China's booming automotive market. He cautioned, however, that the company is not sure how stable some aspects of the market are.
One recent study said Chinese auto demand could hit 17 million vehicles this year, continuing its position as the world's largest market; although, some analysts have said the rapid rise in vehicle purchasing has been helped significantly by government incentives.
He said Engel is seeing good results from other emerging markets, including Eastern Europe, India, Russia, and from its operations in South Korea.
The company, which has factories in Austria, the United States, China and South Korea, reduced employment from 3,700 to 2,900 in the global downturn, but has since raised its headcount to 3,200, he said.
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