FRANKFURT, Germany—Tristone Flowtech Group GmbH has invested heavily in equipping its new plant in Mexico and has unveiled plans to add more machinery and capacity at the site in the next year.
It finalized the move of production to the new hose system manufacturing facility in Delicias, Mexico, from a smaller plant in the city last April while continuing to add to its capabilities. The old production factory has been closed.
Tristone invested about $7 million in the machinery in the latter part of 2016 and throughout 2017 at the site, according to Guenter Froelich, Tristone president and CEO.
Additions included three hose extrusion lines, six autoclaves, assembly equipment and six overmolding machines, he said.
Riding the crest of vastly improving revenues, the firm is looking to add more machinery in 2018, planning to invest another $3.5 million in 2018 at the Delicias complex "to broaden our production portfolio at the plant," Froelich said.
He noted that the new factory's roughly 175,000 square feet of manufacturing space is double that of the old facility. The plant produces engine cooling, battery cooling and air charge hose systems, with plastic overmolding.
Tristone—the former Fluid Automotive Business unit of Trelleborg A.B. that was spun off and became a stand-alone business in mid-2010—specializes in fluid applications for motor and battery cooling as well as air charge and air intake systems.
The Mexican complex primarily produces products for Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, FiatChrysler, BMW and some Tier 1 customers in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, Froelich said.
In early November, the company recorded strong financial results for the first three quarters with record sales of $249.5 million, up 15 percent from the same period in 2016. Incoming business awards for the first three quarters reached $92.6 million, which was also above expectations, the firm said.
Business contracts for fluid battery cooling applications for the period amounted to about $21.8 million, or 24 percent of Tristone's awards.
Froelich said the "high business awards for fluid battery cooling applications accounts for 24 percent of the total business awards, demonstrating again that the group is strong, benefiting from the development toward new hybrid and electric vehicles."
In 2017, he said the firm estimated that in North America the passenger car market for its products will total about $524 million.
While the company continues to expand its plant in Mexico and build its business in North America, the firm also is preparing to launch product manufacturing in early 2018 at its new hose systems factory in Pune, India.
Tristone estimated the passenger car market for the company's hose systems at about $110.6 million in India this year. Froelich anticipated that sales in both India and North America will continue to grow in 2018 and beyond.
Spanning about 38,000 square feet, the facility in Pune, called Tristone India, is being used for both manufacturing and warehousing. The factory manufactures engine cooling and air charge hose systems as well as plastic surge tanks for the Indian market. It operates as a subsidiary of Tristone, the Frankfurt-headquartered firm said.
Tristone has been preparing since the latter part of 2015 for the establishment of a production site in India. The company began building a base in the country when the firm established a sales and engineering company in Pune in September 2015.
With a global work force of nearly 3,000, the company also operates manufacturing and development facilities in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, Spain, France, Italy and China.