SHANGHAI — Thermoplastic elastomer manufacturer Kraiburg TPE Gmbh & Co.'s Asia-Pacific director Roland Ritter says that he sees two competing trends in the region.
One is “cheaper, cheaper, cheaper,” he said, referring to companies' interest in delivering what looks like a product, but isn't. The other trend, he said, is quality and sustainability.
“In the long run we think it is cheaper to have quality,” Ritter said. “If China wants to survive, it will have to follow the quality trend.”
The company's new labeling system launched last year is aimed at combating that “cheaper” trend that Ritter spoke of in an interview with Plastics News at Chinaplas in Shanghai April 23-26.
Bridget Ngang Shue Hui, product and marketing manager for Kraiburg, confirmed that a few cases of intellectual property infringement had been found in China.
“We are now collecting this information and later we will take action.” She said the new label system has been a success so far because it is very hard to make the copy.
Ritter said the company's goal is to expand their contacts in the region over the next few years.
He reported that their growth in Asia is slow but steady.
“Last year we achieved a growth of 15 percent,” he said, and he added he expects this year to be similar. “We're growing organically.”
In the next two years the company will open offices in Shenyang, Chongqing and Guangzhou.
“I'm reading the Chinese newspapers,” Ritter said, adding he's following reports of joint ventures by automotive clients. “We know where the companies are going. We're simply listening.”
He added that in three years, the company's capacity will expire at the company's Malaysian plant, and it will have to begin assessing future expansion. But he said that if expansion doesn't make sense, the company wouldn't go through with plans.
Just in the past few months, he said, the company decided not to go ahead with plans to open a plant in India, even though the $3.8 million investment had been approved.