Switzerland-based auto components producer Autoneum has disposed of one of its four plants in Brazil in a move intended to reflect the continuing economic downturn in South America.
A specialist manufacturer of acoustic and thermal control vehicle parts, Autoneum has agreed to sell the operation at Betim in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state to German automotive industry plastic components maker STS Group.
Under the deal, STS, headquartered in Hallbergmoos, near Munich, will take over the Betim plant and 90 workers later this year. The new owner, part of Germany’s Mutares investment group, will continue to serve Autoneum’s existing client base.
STS sees potential for strong growth in a recovering Brazilian market and is planning midterm revenue of €12m.
Winterthur, Switzerland-based Autoneum still retains production units in the country at Gravataí, São Paulo and Taubaté, as well as another South American plant in Córdoba, Argentina.
The Brazilian unit is the second operation the Swiss firm has sold to STS. Four years ago, it parted with its Italian business, Autoneum Italy S.p.A with 730 employees at four plants at Desio, Pignataro, Santhià and Vicolungo and head office in Leini.
In addition, STS has made other recent acquisitions which have helped turn it into a leading automotive sector supplier. STS took over the commercial vehicle parts businesses of Mecaplast and Plastic Omnium.
Today, the firm has 16 plants across four continents now employing 2,700. STS has achieved annual turnover of €400m.
STS now aims to achieve further growth focusing on producing soft and hard trim for commercial vehicles worldwide.