BENGALURU, India—Freudenberg Group plans to expand activities in India to address growing demand in the the country's automotive market.
Construction on a new facility in Chennai, India, will start this fall, Freudenberg said in a May 18 statement. The plant will produce seals and other automotive products.
"With this investment, we are best serving our customers—precisely in India's strong automotive hub of Chennai," Freudenberg Group CEO Mohsen Sohi said at a press conference in Bengaluru.
The $16.8 million facility will be built in an area of more than 602,000 square feet, with capacity for further expansion.
"Our development in Asia is both positive and long-term oriented," Sohi added. "We are moving closer to our strategic goal of generating one third of our sales in Europe, one third in America and one third in Asia."
Freudenberg's sales in India grew 15 percent in 2016 to $223.6 million, largely due to the acquisition of Vibracoustic, a former joint-venture business with Trelleborg A.B. to produce automotive vibration control technology.
Freudenberg's seven business groups in India employ some 2,500 people at around 50 locations—with six research and development centers and 14 production sites.
In the last five years, Freudenberg has invested a total of $55.9 million in manufacturing and research facilities and equipment in the country.???
Chennai has, in the past few years, become the capital of Indian's automotive industry with over 40 percent Indian automotive production based there.
The city, according to Freudenberg, is often referred to as "India's Detroit."