FRANKFURT - Interior components supplier SAI Automotive AG aims to raise sales nearly 30 percent to DM2.2 billion ($1.3 billion). Sales rose 38 percent last year.
SAI Automotive includes the non-French automotive activities of Sommer Allibert Industrie SA of Nanterre, France. However, the group plans to transfer the French assets into SAI Automotive as soon as market conditions allow.
SAI Automotive's 1996 net earnings rose 11 percent to DM41 million ($24 million) on sales of DM1.7 billion ($999 million).
Instrument panels are SAI Automotive's most important product line. They account for about a third of sales, followed by door panels, carpets and sound proofing, and bumpers.
Eighty percent of sales come from Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. But this will change in the next few years as US production rises.
Several new business ventures will contribute to this year's sales growth, including:
Acquisition of a 75 percent stake in a dashboard assembly plant last year from Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes has the remainder. The venture's 1996 sales were DM175 million.
A dashboard assembly joint venture with Siemens AG - SAS Autosystemtechnik - with plants in Germany, the Czech Republic and Argentina.
A Brazilian joint venture producing textile and plastics parts.
A new operation in Mexico - Sommer Allibert Ind. Mexico SA de CV - making instrument panels for Volkswagen's new Beetle and the Golf A4 models.
A US joint venture in Greenville, South Carolina, with Japan's Inouac to make instrument panels, door panels and consoles for BMW.
SAI Automotive made capital investments in 1996 of DM165 million ($110 million), 59 percent up on 1995.