LONDON—Central and Eastern Europe continues to offer attractive locations for rubber product manufacturers, as evidenced by three investment projects in the region.
Firestone Industrial Products Co. is making a "significant" investment in its operations in Poland, in response to the growing demand for air suspension technologies throughout the region. The supplier of air springs and antivibration technologies is adding 21,500 sqaure feet to its existing plant in Wolsztyn, where it has been manufacturing products for commercial vehicles and passenger cars since 2005.
To supply European automotive OEMs, the expanded Wolsztyn plant will be equipped with innovative machinery and an ISO class 8 cleanroom, according to Firestone. The new facility is due to be fully operational by the second half of 2020.
Firestone also will open a new distribution center in the nearby Polish city of Chobienice.
According to Firestone, the decision to expand was driven by continuing growth in the European market.
"We see more interest from OEMs that want to equip next generation vehicles with the latest air suspension technologies," Emily Poladian, president of Firestone Industrial Products, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Huebner Group, a German-based supplier of gangway systems and elastomer door sealings for buses and railway industry, has expanded its manufacturing site Nyiregyhaza, Hungary.
The project involved the construction of a new production hall, spanning more than 92,500 square feet, at Huebner's largest location outside Germany. The family-owned company put nearly $12.2 million into the first expansion phase, and is planning another $7.1 million investment at the 22-year-old site.
Set for commercial start-up next year, the new unit will meet strong demand for gangway systems for buses and railway vehicles, Huebner said.
In Bulgaria, LIM Technics O.O.D., a producer of technical parts, is investing more than $2.2 million to expand its manufacturing base outside of Sofia. The company plans to invest in a new production hall and office building on a site in the Sofia-Bozhurishte Economic Zone, located about 7 miles west of the capital.
LIM Technics specializes in injection molding single and multi-component plastic, silicone or metal parts used in cars, household appliances, electronic devices and medical consumables. The company plans to hire around 40 workers for the new operation.