French automotive components molder Plastic Omnium SA said Nov. 20 it is opening a development center in Tokyo to support Japanese car makers.
The Levallois, France-based firm said the center will employ 80 people and house design and development activities across all its business units, in exterior components and modules, fuel systems and emissions control technology.
Plastic Omnium said Japanese car makers Honda, Isuzu, Nissan, Suzuki and Toyota make up 6 percent of its global sales across 14 different countries, but that “is expected to increase with the construction of new production capacity and the development of innovative offerings.”
In particular, it is building a new plant for Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., a Japanese-Indian joint venture that makes 1.5 million cars a year, and it recently launched production of emissions control systems for Toyota's diesel vehicles at its factory in Kitakyushu, Japan.
For the first nine months of 2015, the company said its sales in Asia were 712 million euros ($761.8 million), or about 16 percent of global sales, and an increase from 586 million euros ($625 million) from the first nine months of last year.
It said its business in China, which is 8 percent of global sales, was stable in spite of that country's auto manufacturing dropping 6.9 percent in the period.