Chinese glass maker brings new life to former GM Moraine plant
DAYTON, Ohio -- General Motors' former Moraine assembly plant -- small higher than a cavernous empty concrete shell since General Motors shut it in 2008 -- is bustling with action. Welders are placing the finishing touches on an assembly-line which has started to crank-out windshields and windows. A dozen orange Kuka robots -- shrouded in plastic wrap on the factory ground -- expect setup for still another assemblyline. Along with a truck stagnates in the loading-dock while employees load the plant's first cargo: a batch of windows for Hyundai's assembly plant in Alabama. For Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co., the Moraine plant's new operator, that first cargo is a timely image of the corporation's development as a world-wide provider. With 65% of China's automotive glass revenue, Fuyao controls its home market. And with 18% of the worldwide marketplace, Fuyao is tough heavyweights including Pilkington, Saint Gobain and Pittsburgh Glass Works. Until lately, Fuyao was content to send glass from its system of crops in China. Subsequently the firm started a $322 million plant in Russia in 2013 to serve Europe. Now it's spending $400-million to transform Moraine, near Dayton, in to a central generation site for The United States. John Gauthier, president of Fuyao Glass America Inc., claims he will have the annual capacity to make windows for 4-million automobiles by the end-of 2016. "Our time is great," Gauthier stated. "There's really a ability deficit with glass in the U.S. right now. We are going to suck up a number of the extra demand the other firms are fighting to match."
An autoclave, or particular oven, inside Fuyao's Moraine, Ohio, manufacturing plant can be used to prepare laminated windshields.
Fuyao is portion of a tide of Chinese providers using acquisitions to transform themselves into global gamers. A number of those deals have been hits:
Last yr, Yanfeng Automotive Trim got a 70-percent share of Johnson Controls Inc.'s $8.5 billion inside trimming department. Yanfeng, which includes a system of crops in The United States, is now among the planet 's biggest manufacturers of interior trimming.
In March, China National Chemical Corp. got Italian tire maker Pirelli for $7.7 billion. Pirelli, which runs tire factories in Ga and Mexico, provides the state-owned Chinese firm a Us foothold.
In September, AVIC Automotive Techniques purchased sealant provider Henniges Automotive for approximately $1billion. Four years before, AVIC was portion of a partnership that bought Nexteer Automotive.
According to research firm Dealogic, 2015 is going to be a record year for Chinese acquisitions of international automotive producers. This yr through Nov. 10, Chinese international automotive acquisitions totaled $9.3 billion, up from $845 million for all of last year. The Pirelli offer is the reason the majority of the amount, but the general tendency is clear. Fuyao joined the craze a year ago when it purchased the Mount Zion, Illinois, float glass plant -- which makes uncooked glass -- from Pittsburgh Glass Works for an undisclosed amount. The organization spent $200-million to restart one of two glass furnaces in the once-shuttered plant. Judging from the degree of automation, nevertheless, Moraine will be Fuyao's case factory. When every thing is up and running next year, the assembly lines can have as numerous as 400 robots. That is mo-Re automation than in any of Fuyao's glass fabrication plants in China, where wages are a lot lower, Gauthier notes. But if China's labour costs are really so low, why does not Fuyao carry on sending all its glass from its home industry? "Gas charges three to four-times more in China, and electricity rates are 2-3 times higher," Gauthier stated. "And we-don't have to send our glass 6,000 miles." After Moraine reaches total production, Gauthier states Fuyao's Chinese crops will perform the role of "security valves," transport products when Us capability is limited.
A employee in the plant assesses the measurements, form and edge quality of a glass cut-out.
Gauthier claims the Moraine plant has an additional edge: It is only a few miles from Interstate 75, with easy entry to assembly plants from Michigan south to Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Clients contain General Motors, Volkswagen, Fiat-Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Honda and Magna Global. And because Fuyao does enterprise with almost every global auto-maker in China, the organization expects to bring more clients as it grows in The United States. The master mind behind Fuyao's growth is its creator, Cao Dewang, a a vintage illustration of an upward-from-soil Chinese entrepreneur. Cao began as a fresh fruit and tobacco seller on the streets of his home town of Gaoshan, in China's coastal Fujian province. In 1983, Cao was provided a deal to to perform an ineffective state-owned glass plant where he previously worked as a sales man. Four years after, he started his own automotive glass firm, and he certified technologies from PPG Industries to modernize creation. After Cao got Moraine, he dispatched a few dozen key supervisors to manage its restoration. Gauthier, the plant supervisor, is a former PPG supervisor who once ran the Mount Zion plant. If Moraine hits its yearly production goal of 4-million window sets, that plant would have sufficient ability to provide almost one-quarter of light vehicles made in The United States. That is not bragging, Gauthier insists. And he provides: "That Is our target."
It's possible for you to reach David Sedgwick at [email protected]
Fuyao Glass Industry Group
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