International Automotive Components (IAC) announced that it has formed a joint venture with Feltex Automotive, a South Africa-based supplier of automotive flooring, acoustics and trim components.
The joint venture, IAC-Feltex Pty Limited (“IAC-Feltex”) marks IAC’s initial entry into the growing South African automotive region.
IAC will provide design, engineering and manufacturing expertise for vehicle interior components. In addition to product and process expertise, Feltex brings experience from successfully operating in South Africa since 1937. The IAC-Feltex JV will be located in the East London IDZ Automotive Supplier Park.
According to IHS industry projections, the South African automotive market is expected to steadily increase annual passenger car production to more than 600,000 units by 2018.
The joint venture will initially support current production requirements for Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen South Africa operations and is positioned to support additional business opportunities. Also, this facility will support global vehicle programs, such as the Mercedes C-Class, for which IAC will supply the interior garnish trim, flooring system, trunk trim and exterior wheel arch liners.
“We believe that the joint venture’s complementary products and design, engineering and manufacturing expertise will provide value to our multinational customers, which are producing vehicles in the Republic of South Africa,” said James Kamsickas, president and chief executive officer of IAC.
IAC’s expansion into new and emerging markets has remained consistent since the company was established in 2006. Over the past 24 months, IAC has entered Malaysia and Thailand through joint venture agreements, opened a greenfield manufacturing facility in Romania, a sales and engineering office in Korea, and opened its 11(th)plant in China.
IAC Group is a leading global supplier of automotive components and systems, including interior and exterior trim. The company’s 2012 sales were $4.7 billion. Headquartered in Luxembourg, IAC Group operates 79 manufacturing facilities in 18 countries. The company has approximately 90 total locations in 20 countries, including 22 design, technical and commercial centers, and employs more than 26,000 people globally. For more information, visit www.iacgroup.com.