Spanish automotive components maker Grupo Antolin and its Japanese partner Kasai Kogyo have launched their joint venture Antolin Kasai-Tek (AK-Tek) parts plant in Chennai, India.
The operation, to produce mainly vehicle door panels and plastic parts for Renault-Nissan group, is a result of a strategic partnership formed by the two suppliers last year. It is aimed specifically at serving the needs of the Franco-Japanese car giant around the world.
An official plant opening ceremony was carried out jointly by Burgos-based Antolin group's vice president Ernesto Antolin and Kasai Kogyo president Kuniyuki Watanabe.
The 50:50 AK-Tek joint venture, located in India's Tamil Nadu state near one of three existing Antolin car parts facilities, was launched with capital of 10 million euros. It is expected to achieve sales of around 9.3 million euros by 2014.
Antolin's principal aim in entering the supply alliance is to increase its global turnover, particularly in plastics part production, as well as responding to a clear customer request, it said. The alliance is being run from Grupo Antolin's base in Shanghai.
The partners are planning to establish similar production joint ventures in countries where they are already present including Mexico, Brazil, China and Russia.
Meanwhile, in line with its policy of getting closer to its customers, Grupo Antolin is expanding a just-in-time modular headliners plant it set up in Spain last year to serve the Ford Motor Co.'s Valencia car plant in Almussafes.
The Antolin facility is located in Ford's Rey Juan Carlos I supplier park close to the conveyor or tunnel that transports the headliners in sequence to the car giant's assembly plant.
An initial line at the JIT unit started in October 2012 supplying Ford Kuga headliners and it launched a second assembly line there for the Ford C-Max. This one was transferred from Antolin-Autotrim to be closer to the Ford conveyor.
The JIT plant will soon get a third line with the arrival of Ford Transit Connect project resulting from the Ford Europa restructuring program, according to Antolin.