Cooper Standard ties up with Inoac to expand into Asia; China first stop

US-based auto parts maker Cooper-Standard Holdings, the parent company of Cooper-Standard Automotive, is forming a joint venture with Inoac Corp. of Japan expanding the reach of Cooper Standard's fluid transfer systems products in the Asia Pacific automotive market. Upon closing, expected in the third quarter of 2014, Cooper Standard would own 51% and Inoac 49% of the joint venture named Cooper Standard Inoac. Staffing, asset acquisition and other activities are scheduled to begin in September 2014.

This joint venture is intended to accelerate Cooper Standard's fluid transfer systems product introduction into Asia and further strengthen its presence in this key automotive market. The focus of the first phase of the joint venture will be based in China with production expected to begin in the third quarter of 2015. Expansion into additional countries is planned to follow.

"After a careful evaluation, our leadership team has determined that forming a majority-owned joint venture with an established Asian auto parts supplier represents the best opportunity to successfully enter the market," said Jeffrey Edwards, chairman and CEO, Cooper Standard. "Inoac’s extensive footprint throughout Asia, decades of experience with rubber and plastics products, and close relationships with the Japanese OEMs make the company an ideal partner for expanding our fluid transfer systems in the Asia Pacific automotive market."

The joint venture combines Cooper Standard's technology and Western OEM relationships with Inoac's relationships with Japanese OEMs to create an entity with unmatched potential for the Asia Pacific fluid transfer systems automotive market. Combined, the two companies currently operate more than 50 plants throughout the Asia Pacific region. Key products for the new joint venture are expected to include low pressure, premium hose and transmission oil cooler lines for radiator, emissions, vacuum brakes, turbo chargers, heater, air conditioning and power steering applications.

The Asia Pacific region represents the greatest growth opportunities for automotive production through 2020. Earlier this month, Cooper Standard announced the opening of its new Asia Pacific Technical Centre in Shanghai, China, and the relocation of its Asia Pacific headquarters from Kunshan, China, to the new Shanghai facility.

Established originally in 1926 by the Inoue family as Inoue Rubber Company, now Inoac manufactures polyurethane, rubber, plastic and synthetic materials, products using these materials and new material product applications in automotive, two-wheeled vehicles, information technology, housing and construction, consumer lifestyles industries. Inoac is based in Japan, employs more than 23,000 people globally and operates in 16 countries around the world.

(IMA)

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