Saint-Gobain HanGlas JV starts production in China

Production commenced on 15 October 2004 at Saint-Gobain Group“s first auto glass plant in China as it bids to win a larger slice of the country“s growing auto industry.
Even as production began at …

Production commenced on 15 October 2004 at Saint-Gobain Group“s first auto glass plant in China as it bids to win a larger slice of the country“s growing auto industry. Even as production began at the USD 72 million joint venture in Shanghai, the French-based glass group said it will set up more plants in China, depending on market demand. The 50-50 joint venture between Saint-Gobain and HanGlas, the top auto glass maker in South Korea in which Saint-Gobain has a 43% holding, is designed for an initial output of 1.5 million single vehicle sets of auto glasses per annum. “The Chinese automotive market is going through a slowdown recently but we believe that it will still experience growth of 15% to 20% in the medium and long term,” the firm said in a press release. “Of course, the automotive glass market will grow in the same way.” The company said it has plans to increase annual output to 2 million sets and to make additional investments, given that the Chinese auto market continues to grow rapidly. The Shanghai plant will be the largest auto glass facility in Saint-Gobain“s global network, according to Fei Ming, general manager of the new venture, Saint-Gobain HanGlas Sekurit (Shanghai) Co. Saint-Gobain Sekurit, which produces auto glass, accounts for 24% of the global market and 45% of the European market.