Global automotive parts supplier Novares Group has consolidated tube assembly manufacturing, previously carried out at two plants in Richmond, Wis., and one in Santa Ana, Mexico, in a new $1.75 million facility in the same Santa Ana municipality.
It officially opened the 86,261-square-foot plant on April 21. The facility produces plastic tubes for emission control applications and molded parts for oil separators, the France-headquartered company said in a news release.
"This is a significant investment by Novares in our Mexican production facilities, designed to bring this activity under one roof and concentrate our expertise in one place, optimizing costs and benefits for our customers," Novares CEO Pierre Boulet said in a speech at the opening ceremony.
Santa Ana is 62 miles south of Nogales on the U.S.-Mexico border. Novares operates 41 manufacturing plants across the world, including six in Mexico and seven in the United States, and claims to supply "virtually every OEM and many Tier 1 companies in the automotive market." Its sales in 2021 totaled 1.01 billion euros ($1.06 billion).
The U.S., Canada and Mexico account for 30 percent of the company's total sales, according to Novares. Its customers in the region include BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan, Stellantis, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Equipped with new machinery, including a Unicor CVT extrusion machine for producing electric car battery cooling system parts, the plant will "simplify supply chains to the North American market," Boulet said.
It would also "bring more opportunities for local employment and a new chapter in our Mexican manufacturing journey." Novares employs 400-plus at the new facility, according to the news release.
Based in the Paris suburb of Clamart, Novares was founded in Monaco under the name Mecaplast in 1955. It acquired its competitor Key Plastics, of Livonia, Mich., in 2016, shortly after London-based investment company Equistone Partners Europe had become Mecaplast's majority shareholder.
Mecaplast was rebranded as Novares in 2017.