MILAN, Italy (Feb. 3) — Manuli Rubber Industries S.p.A. plans to double capacity this year for high-pressure hose at a plant in Suzhou, China, that opened only seven months ago.
The company expects to invest about $24 million in the project, about the same amount it spent to build the plant.
Manuli Rubber has been operating in China since 1997, but management saw the need to build their own factory to serve the Asian and American markets, which today account for approximately 20 percent of MRI´s sales and which are expected to increase rapidly over the coming years.
"It is not a question of delocalization," said Dardanio Manuli, Manuli President and CEO, "but a strategy designed to increase business in the Asian and American markets, which are still relatively new for MRI but will be increasingly important for the future development of the group."
Manuli expects 2005 sales to hit about $290 million, about 9 percent more than 2004.