Auto sector: Yanfeng expands in US; ABC bought by Cerberus; Mann-Hummel reports lower profits; Parker-Hannifin acquires German units

  • Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is establishing operations in Fountain Inn, S.C. The new development is expected to generate US$71 million in new capital investment and lead to the creation of 35 new jobs. The company will supply BMW with interior components, including door panels, instrument panels and floor consoles for multiple models built by the automaker. Recently, the company completed the acquisition of Faurecia’s 365,000-sq-ft Fountain Inn, S.C. manufacturing plant located at 101 International Boulevard. The transaction includes the plant and its current employees. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors will be expanding the plant by 100,000 sq ft to accommodate future new business. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is a joint venture between Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems and Johnson Controls, set up in 2015.

  • Canada’s ABC Group, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers of thermoplastic components and systems, has been acquired by an affiliate of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. Founded in 1974 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, ABC Group manufactures a diverse thermoplastic product portfolio using both blow/injection moulding from its global footprint of 36 locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. “Cerberus is pleased to make this investment in ABC Group,” said Dev Kapadia, Managing Director at Cerberus. “The Schmidt family, the management team and the Company’s more than 6,000 employees have built a world-class organisation that is extremely well-positioned to capitalise on trends driving the evolution of the automotive industry.” Cerberus also owns Reydel Automotive Holdings in the Netherlands, set up in 2014 when Cerberus bought Visteon’s automotive interiors business.

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  • Though German filtration specialist Mann +Hummel increased sales by roughly 9% to EUR3 billion last year, compared to EUR2.8 billion in 2014, largely due to currency effects, its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell from EUR150 million in 2014 to EUR135 million in 2015. It pinned this down to restructuring of its German plants and the acquisition of the filtration business of the US-based Affinia Group in May 2016. It says Affinia Group, with its WIX Filters and Filtron brands, has a good position in certain regions and market segments (heavy duty applications in the US and hydraulic filtration) where Mann+Hummel has up to now only had a low penetration. With this acquisition, the company expects sales to rise by almost a third to EUR4 billion and to have 20,000 employees at over 70 production locations. Meanwhile, its restructuring exercise will involve job losses in Germany and it announced around 120 job cuts at its headquarters in Ludwigsburg, in late June.

  • In related news, it has opened a new technology centre in Ludwigsburg. The centre provides 430 workplaces with modern equipment and a company museum and the adjacent test centre has space for about 100 test benches. The EUR30 million technology centre was built according to the planned budget and time schedule, says Mann+Hummel.

  • On the question of the prospects for the current financial year in 2016, chief financial officer, Mrs Emese Weissenbacher said the company needed “some time for a breather." Without taking the Affinia acquisition into account, she expects sales to reach the level of the previous year.

  • US Parker Hannifin has been proactively pursuing acquisitions to bolster its core businesses. It has taken over two of Germany-based equipment manufacturer Arnold Jäger Holding GmbH‘s operating units – Jäger Automobil-Technik GmbH and Jäger Automotive Polska Sp. z.o.o. Terms were not disclosed. The acquisition is intended to enhance the company’s foothold in the global sealing markets. Jäger Group, which manufactures products to seal and protect key automotive system parts, is said to offer state-of-the-art rubber to plastic direct bonded sealing systems and premium developer of two-component (2K) direct injection moulding technology. Jäger makes auto parts used in interiors, door systems, exterior and under-the-hood applications. Adding the injection moulding technology will widen Parker-Hannifin’s automotive portfolio and allow it to access both Jäger Automobil-Technik and Jäger Automotive Polska’s loyal customer base. With combined sales of US$45 million, these businesses offer Parker-Hannifin an extension of the use of this technology for other strategic markets. The businesses will be integrated into Parker-Hannifin’s Prädifa Technology Division in the Engineered Materials Group.


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