PARIS - Plastic Omnium, the French plastic parts maker, and Solvay Automotive, a division of Belgian chemical group Solvay, have set up a 50-50 joint-venture in Brazil to make and sell plastic fuel tanks and fuel systems.
Called Plastauto Ltda., the joint venture will manufacture in two locations. One facility, near Curitiba in southern Brazil, will start production in early 1999, providing fuel tanks to Renault. The second will open in 2000 in Sao Paulo state. Investment plans were not disclosed. At the outset Plastauto will employ 120 people.
The two partners target 25 to 30 percent of the Brazilian market, said a Plastic Omnium spokesman in Paris. This would represent 600,000 to 700,000 fuel tanks per year once the two plants are in operation. In addition to Renault, orders have already been received from Daimler-Chrysler, General Motors and Isuzu.
Plastauto is the first venture between the two companies.
Plastic Omnium's 1997 sales of auto parts were FF6.2 billion ($1 billion).