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Key forms venture with China's Jiehua

By Rhoda Miel, UT Akron Bureau Shanghai, People’s Republic of China-Key Plastics llc is moving into China, launching a joint venture with Jiehua Automotive Trim Development Center of Shanghai that will bring it two production sites.”This partnership continues Key Plastics’ aggressive actions to implement a global footprint in manufacturing and engineering,” said Key Plastics chairman and chief executive officer Edward Ewing in a 20 May announcement.”We expect additional actions to expand our rapidly growing presence in Asian markets,” he added.The new partnership will be called Shanghai Key Automotive Plastics Component Co. Ltd. The plants that will be part of the venture already make instrument panel components, interior trim, wheel covers, bumper and other exterior trim components. Key will expand production to door handles, radio and heating and air conditioning bezels, air vents and under-the-hood components, the company statement said.The joint venture facilities in the Shanghai regions of Anting and Chunshen currently produce $18-million worth of automotive parts, and offer injection moulding, painting and assembly operations. Their output is expected to grow to $50 million in sales by 2009.The venture joins Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Key’s sales office in Japan, which opened in early 2004, and couples with the company’s additional expansion into Eastern Europe, another developing automotive production region.”

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