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Spanish parts supplier Grupo Antolin expands into China


Spanish car components manufacturer Grupo Antolin is in the process of significant expansion in both China and Russia.

Burgos, Spain-based Antolin will shortly complete the construction of a new roof lining production plant in the Chinese city of Chengdu. Meanwhile, it is ramping up production at its new interior parts plant in St Petersburg, Russia which began turning out door trim late last year.

Building work on the new facility, operated by Chengdu Antolin Huaxiang Auto Interior Trim, is due to be concluded next month (March). The unit, located in Sichuan province in south western China, will manufacture vehicle roof liners.

Output from the new facility is destined initially for its chief client, an automotive joint venture between Volkswagen and local vehicle builder FAW. The Chengdu plant is Antolin’s 10th operation in China.

The Chengdu business is wholly owned by the Spanish group’s Chinese joint venture Gongzhuling Antolin Hauxiang in which Grupo Antolin holds a 47% stake.

Meanwhile, in St Petersburg the Spanish car parts supplier began turning out its first door panels for the Hyundai Solaris in mid October 2010, which the Korean manufacturer is now in the process of introducing in Russia.

A four-door version of the Solaris was due to launch in December while a five-door model is set to appear this May. Together, Hyundai is expected to manufacture more than 100,000 cars per year if an optimistic forecast for demand is met.

Located at the heart of one of Russia’s most important automotive clusters, the 10,000 m2 Antolin operation located in the Utkina Zavod industrial park, is designed to meet rising demand from more group customers locally.

The group is already set to supply Ford Russia with roof liner components for its new Focus model due for production at its nearby Vsevolozhsk assembly plant this year. Other international automotive majors likely to benefit from Antolin supply include General Motors, Nissan and Skoda.

Antolin, which expects to employ around 120 at its new plant, is responding to a lingering shortage of quality local vehicle components which has led to car manufacturers having to import parts. This has inhibited the development of the automotive industry in Russia.

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