Automotive plastics parts producer RÃ¶chling Automotive AG plans to set up a new production plant in southeast China, adding to its existing Chinese plants in Changchun und Suzhou. The new plant will produce a wide range of RÃ¶chling Automotive products, excluding interior components.
The company also is continuing its search for a new plant site in the United States.
Mannheim, Germany-based RÃ¶chling set up its first plant in China in 2007, in Changchun, in part to make air-intake components for the Smart car plant in Hambach, France.
The Changchun plant also makes under-floor cladding for the BMW 5 Series car.
The company's Suzhou plant also started up in 2007, making steering-system fluid and expansion tanks for Ford and also later spoilers for the Ford Focus and Mondeo models.
Since the two Chinese sites started up, RÃ¶chling also has been supply parts for OEMs Dongfeng Motor Corp. and Guangzhou Automobile Group.
The company did not identify the location for its new plant in China.
Likewise, RÃ¶chling has not yet named the site for its proposed new U.S. plant. The company already has a plant in Duncan, S.C., and it has been looking for a site for a second plant. Economic development officials in northeast Ohio say their cities are among the locations being considered.
RÃ¶chling has two joint venture sites in Brazil. Erwin Doll, RÃ¶chling Automotive board member for sales, development and Asia, said there also will be further investment in Brazil.
Back in Europe, RÃ¶chling Automotive will set up its first plant in Romania, in Pitesti, to supply the local Ford plant in Craiova. The long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics plant in Worms, Germany, that produces car underbody claddings already is being expanded later this year, the company said.
RÃ¶chling Automotive has 19 production plants worldwide, including plants in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, Latvia and Spain. The automotive business employs 3,500 worldwide and accounts for around 49 percent of RÃ¶chling Group's overall sales.
With 5,500 employees worldwide, RÃ¶chling Group achieved sales of 830 million euros ($1.1 billion) in 2009, down from 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in 2008. However, Doll said the company expects turnover to move in the direction of the pre-crisis level.