One of China's largest automotive molders is speeding up its journey into North America by adding a manufacturing operation in South Carolina, following a similar move to set up a plant in Mexico.
Jiangnan Mould & Plastic Technology Co. Ltd. (MPT) is investing $45 million to launch an injection molding plant in Greer, S.C., which is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2017, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce. The 260,000-square-foot facility will create 150 jobs over the next five years.
The new plant will make bumpers and other related parts, publicly traded MPT said in a financial filing.
“This investment in South Carolina and in Spartanburg County will further strengthen Jiangnan's effort to expand its global leadership role in the plastic molding industry. It is very clear to us that South Carolina is a pro-business state, and we look forward to continuing our cooperation with the state as we grow,” MPT Chairman and General Manager Robert Cao said in the statement.
The company, which claims to China's largest supplier of automotive exterior trim system, said the establishment of its U.S. subsidiary — Minghua USA Inc. — signals the recognition and initial success it has earned in the international market, laying the foundation for further overseas expansion.
“Jiangnan's move to Spartanburg further proves … that South Carolina has become a top destination for any company in the automotive industry,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said.
“On my economic development recruiting trips to China, I've learned first-hand what a positive impact that foreign direct investment from Chinese companies can have on a community,” Greer Mayor Rick Danner added.
Greer also is home to BMW AG's U.S. assembly plant. MPT is a BMW supplier at other sites.
In mid-2015, Jiangyin-based MPT announced plans to invest $100 million to build a manufacturing subsidiary — Minghua de Mexico — in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, to make car parts for its existing customer BMW.
MPT posted 1.6 billion yuan ($246 million) of sales in the first half of 2015 and net profit of 213.2 million yuan ($32.9 million). With six production bases across China and annual capacity of 3 million plastic bumpers, its OEM customers include Huachen BMW Auto Co. Ltd., Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd., Shanghai Volkswagen Co. Ltd., and SAIC General Motors Co. Ltd.