Issue: Jun 2007


Cooperation Between Proseat and Johnson Controls to Expand Business in Eastern Europe



by Steve Barclay

Proseat (joint venture between Recticel and Woodbridge) and Johnson
Controls have decided to set up a new manufacturing joint venture for the production of molded foam seating cushions in Slovakia and Poland.
Each company will carry out its own programs in these new entities in 2007 to support the future growth in the Eastern European markets.

Due to the fact that a lot of automakers are setting up their business in Eastern Europe, Proseat and Johnson Controls have decided to invest jointly in two plants. These are located in Lucenec, Slovakia and Zory, Poland. Both plants are part of the production joint venture in which Johnson Controls will hold the majority with 65% and Proseat the remaining 35%. In Slovakia, they will use the currently existing manufacturing capacity at the Johnson Controls plant in Lucenec. The new plant in Poland will be operational in November 2007 and will employ around 130 people.

Proseat will now have thirteen production sites at its disposal in nine countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. Ever since the early 1990s, Johnson Controls has been continually expanding its presence in the new growth markets and now has over 23 locations in Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Russia and Turkey.

The cooperation between Proseat and Johnson Controls enables both companies to meet the rising demand in Eastern Europe in the future by producing close to the customer and cost-efficiently.

Proseat is the joint venture between the Belgian company Recticel, one of the leading producers of polyurethanes with some hundred production units in 26 countries, and the Canadian company Woodbridge, the worldwide market leader in automotive polyurethanes with production sites in North and South America, Australia and Asia. Proseat is with approx 2000 employees in 11 locations in 8 countries one of the main producers of polyurethane moulded foam for automotive seating in Europe. Next to moulded foam Proseat supplies also finished parts, like headrests, armrests and side bolsters mainly based on polyurethanes.

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