In line with its ongoing growth strategy, US automotive supplier Henniges Automotive has announced that it will be further expanding its global footprint with the construction of a new Technical and Innovation Centre in the Czech Republic and a new manufacturing unit in South America.
With the new R&D facility, which will also become the company's European headquarters, Henniges will boost its development and research competence in the region, said the company, as well as promote its customer relationships with European car manufacturers.
The 2000 square-metre unit will be built in Mladá Boleslav, an hour's drive north of Prague and close to all Henniges' manufacturing plants and key European customers. The facility is set to start operation in spring 2019.
The new R&D centre will feature development and testing facilities, offer 3D rapid prototyping and laser scanning capabilities, in addition to climatic testing, and simulation, which the company said will make it future-proof amid new advances in the industry.
Based on the business plan it submitted, the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company said it had received a $1.8m (€1.6m) facility from the Czech government in recognition of the research and innovation opportunities the centre would bring to the region. The company will be investing another $3.6m (€3.2m) in test and lab equipment.
Henniges Automotive develops and manufactures engineered sealing systems for doors, windows, trunks, lift gates, sunroofs and hoods. The company also supplies the automotive market with anti-vibration components and encapsulated glass systems.
"The resources and access of this facility will enable us to remain at the forefront of anti-vibration, vehicle sealing and glass encapsulation technologies while keeping our commitment to offering innovative new solutions to customers," said Larry Williams, president of Henniges Automotive.
Henniges said it selected the location in the centre of the Czech Republic as it was near to other Henniges facilities and improved synergies in product design processes. In addition to that, the region's skilled worker pool was another reason for the selection of the site.
"We look forward to expanding our presence in the region and further contributing to the area's innovation culture and high-tech workforce,” said Williams.
In addition to the investments in Europe, Henniges said it was planning further expansions in 2019, including a new manufacturing plant in South America. The company statement gave no further details about these plans