Meanwhile on the Asian front, the new factory in South Korea replaces a facility the firm leased in the city, according to the spokesman. The site's annual capacity was projected at about 180,000 air springs.
Currently, ContiTech DaeWon employs 22 at the facility, but the company plans to add a more personnel.
Its old plant had the same square footage and capacity as the new one, the spokesman said, but the second site was built with the possibility of expanding capacity.
Products produced in Cheonan are distributed throughout the South Korean and other Asian markets, he said.
The company said it selected the site, located in an industrial complex, because it offered customers easy access to the plant and provided the road links needed for efficient transportation of the firm's products.
Launch of the new factory, which took less than six months to construct, ties in with the joint venture's 10th anniversary. ContiTech and South Korean automotive parts manufacturer DaeWon Kang Up Co. Ltd. formed the company in 2003. ContiTech is the majority owner of the JV, according to the spokesman.
The addition of the company's own plant in Cheonan “clearly says something about the future of our joint venture,” according to Hannes Fried-erichsen, who heads ContiTech Air Springs Systems.
“We have been working together successfully for 10 years and have achieved a strong position on the Korean market.”
He said with the company's own factory in the city, ContiTech DaeWon intends to expand the relationships it has and tap into new ones to expand the business.
Air springs produced at the plant are used on commercial and rail vehicles, but they also are earmarked for other sectors. Key customers in the automotive segment include Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo Bus, the company said.
“We see good opportunities for growth in the (South) Korean market, particularly in the truck and trailer and in industrial businesses,” said Andreas Kattre, managing director of ContiTech DaeWon.
The new factory “forms the basis for high productivity and top quality and creates a closer relationship with customers,” he said.