Henniges Automotive Holdings Inc. has broken ground on its new manufacturing facility in Gomez Palacio, Mexico.
Auburn Hills, Mich.-based maker of rubber and plastic auto seals also will open a new office in Munich and a technical and tooling center in Beijing by September.
The 323,000-square-foot factory in Mexico is expected to be operational by 2016, will support six vehicle platforms and is expected to employ 1,200. It is the firm's fourth manufacturing facility in Mexico and will be Henniges' largest in that country and second largest worldwide.
“It is of utmost importance for us at Henniges Automotive to serve our customers effectively, reliably and efficiently,” Larry Rollins, vice president of global manufacturing, said in a news release. “This new facility gives us an opportunity to exceed key customer demand locally while adding to our presence worldwide.”
The facility will produce a variety of automotive sealing systems — including dynamic beltline and glass run seals — as well as anti-vibration systems, such as bushings, exhaust-hanger systems and center bearings, that are fitted to an automobile's drive and powertrain, chassis and suspension.
Henniges said Gomez Palacio provides a central location and a large population of highly skilled workers with numerous universities and technical institutes.
“In order for any organization to succeed, it needs to have a connection to its community,” Boris Gavric, vice president of global sales and marketing, said in the release. “Attracting local talent is a priority, and we believe it will strengthen our relationship with the people of Gomez Palacio.”
The 14,000-square-foot technical center in China will provide testing and validation of parts as well as in-house product design, development and tooling capabilities. It is projected to create 60 jobs by 2019 and include advanced testing equipment.
The firm has five existing facilities in China — Beijing, Changchun, Chengdu, Tianjin and Tieling.
Henniges' office in Munich will house a number of managers and engineers to support BMW programs. It operates four technical centers and manufacturing plants throughout Europe — in Viersen and Rehburg-Loccum, Germany; and Mlada Boeslav and Hranice, Czech Republic.