In line with this trend, Cooper Standard and Continental, which incidentally were the only top-ten rubber manufacturers to post stronger sales in 2015, have launched different expansion projects in the continent.
Cooper Standard’s French operation is investing €50 million in upgrading its sealing weather strips production site in Vitré while building a new production plant for AVS systems at its site in Rennes, Brittany.
According to the head of the French operation and European engineering vice-president Sylvain Broux, Cooper Standard, has already secured off-takes for a “big project” with car-maker Ford for the added capacity in Rennes.
And in Vitré, where Cooper Standard produces automotive seals, the company is increasing its production area by 3,000 m2 to 30,000 m2, to expand production.
The site has increased its annual sales from €90 million in 2009 to upwards of €120 million in 2015.
The site, according to Broux, supplies to all European car manufacturers as well as some auto-makers further afield, including South Korea’s Hyundai.
ContiTech AG, the manufacturing arm of Continental AG, is also upping its game in Europe, expanding two of its Hungarian sites.
The company is adding production at both its mobile fluid systems and air spring systems factories in Hungary, in what it described as response to dynamic market demand.
ContiTech Fluid Automotive Hungaria, which produces mobile fluid systems increased its production capacities in Makó by 30 percent, in a €12-million investment.
The expansion includes a hall extension with a floor area of 9,000 m2. This will house new extrusion lines, vulcanisation autoclaves and assembly machines, according to executive director Mihaly Nagy.