Mecaplast-Key Plastics, formed when Mecaplast Group purchased Key Plastics LLC, has been rebranded as Novares Group SA.
The company, which is headquartered in Paris, said in a statement that the name change is part of an effort to convey a consistent message among employees, management and customers in a global market and to show its ongoing commitment to plastics innovation in the automotive industry.
The rebranding of the company comes nearly one year after Mecaplast Group announced it was acquiring Key Plastics, a Livonia, Mich.-based manufacturer of automotive interior, exterior and under-the-hood plastic components, and more than a year after investment firm Equistone Partners Europe became Mecaplast's majority shareholder with a 72 percent stake in the company.
“We wanted to give greater visibility to our corporate [backers] willing to merge Mecaplast and Key Plastics. Thanks to our major shareholder Equistone Partners and our united team, we are positioned as a global player with a local footprint, close to our customers,” Novares CEO Pierre Boulet said in a Sept. 19 news release.
Beatriz Garcia, press and media manager at Novares, said no immediate changes to the general management team are expected.
“For employees, our new brand has so far been well-received and positive,” Garcia said. “Employees can expect more opportunities to enhance their careers as the company grows.”
The new name comes from two Latin words — “nova” and “res” — which the company said represents its focus on innovation and coincides with its pragmatic response to customer needs.
Novares has seven automotive product lines, including engine components, electric powertrain components for hybrid and electric vehicles, exterior paint and surfaces, interior and exterior handles, air vents and decorative trims, bezels and clusters, and interior and car body trim.
Through its new tagline “beyond plastics” the company said it will continue to explore alternatives to metal in the automotive industry, such as thermoplastic components to reduce weight in vehicles.
Novares' plastic heat exchanger can replace traditional aluminum alloy heat exchangers with a plastic part, for example, and can be integrated into engine parts, such as an air intake manifold, the company said.
“It was mandatory for us to address the challenges of the automotive sector and in line with future car trends. But before anything and above all, we focused on clarifying our accumulated portfolio,” Laurent Michaux, vice president of strategy at Novares, said in a news release.
“Following our merger, we defined a clear market positioning, strong ambitions as well as our long-term group commitment to contribute to sustainable plastic solutions answering current market needs,” Michaux continued. “We want to stress our proactive co-design approach and clear structured product portfolio related to engineering and innovation capabilities coupled with manufacturing excellence.”
In 2016, the company's revenue totaled 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion), including the acquisition of Key Plastics at the end of the year. Novares has 10,000 employees worldwide and a presence in 21 countries, including China, India, Germany and Mexico.