German plant to be sold to Kasai Kogyo / Japanese company's first own manufacturing facility in Europe / Slovakian production under construction
The automotive segment of Röchling (Mannheim / Germany; www.roechling.com) is to sell its production facility for interior linings in Wolfsburg / Germany to its competitor Kasai Kogyo (Samukawa / Japan; www.kasai.co.jp). The Japanese company will take over all 170 employees and, according to Röchling, also intends to make investments.

For several years, Röchling Automotive has been turning its attention to plastic systems and components for the fields of aerodynamics, propulsion and new mobility, so that door and side trim panels no longer play a big role in its portfolio. According to Erwin Doll, head of Röchling's automotive segment, the proceeds from this transaction – the parties agreed to not disclose any details – are to be invested in the New Mobility segment.

Wolfsburg is Kasai Kogyo's first plant in Europe. With sales of around EUR 1.8 bn, the Japanese supplier of plastic trim for the automotive interior, trunk linings and noise-insulating components in the engine compartment is of similar size to Röchling. Strong in its domestic market and also in China, India and North America, Kasai Kogyo has, under the leadership of Kuniyuki Watanabe, recently also begun to put out feelers to Europe. In the 2018/19 financial year (ending 31 March) sales here were just over EUR 110m.

For Kasai Kogyo, car makers outside of Asia account for only a small share of its turnover. Two thirds of its sales come from Nissan, and a further quarter from Honda. Number three with 7% is Toyota, while all other OEMs account for a total of only 3.8% – that is, just under EUR 70m, at the last count.

In 2015, a sales company was set up in France, in Velizy-Villacoublay near Versailles, for its businesses with Renault and Nissan. This was followed in 2017 and 2019 by companies in Slovakia and Morocco. Kasai Kogyo is currently building a plant in Levice / Slovakia that will produce headliners, door and post panels, and visors for Jaguar Land Rover in Nitra / Slovakia. It is apparently due to go on stream fairly soon.
14.05.2019 Plasteurope.com [242439-0]
Published on 14.05.2019
Röchling: Automobil-Zulieferwerk Wolfsburg an Kasai Kogyo verkauftGerman version of this article...

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