Auto supplier Novares opens plant in Mexico

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Global automotive supplier Novares Group has moved tube assembly manufacturing, previously performed at two plants in Richmond, Wisconsin and one in Santa Ana, Mexico, to a new $1.75 million facility in the same Santa Ana municipality consolidated.

The 86,261 square foot facility officially opened on April 21st. The plant produces plastic tubing for emission control applications and molded parts for oil separators, the France-headquartered company said in a press release.

“This is a significant investment by Novares in our Mexican manufacturing facilities, aimed at bringing these activities together under one roof and concentrating our expertise in one place, optimizing costs and benefits for our customers,” said Pierre Boulet, CEO of Novares, in a speech at the opening ceremony.

Santa Ana is 62 miles south of Nogales on the US-Mexico border. Novares operates 41 manufacturing facilities around the world, including six in Mexico and seven in the United States, and claims to supply “virtually every OEM and many Tier 1 companies in the automotive market.” Sales in 2021 were 1.01 billion euros ($1.06 billion).

The US, Canada and Mexico account for 30 percent of the company’s total sales, according to Novares. Customers in the region include BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan, Stellantis, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Equipped with new machinery, including a Unicor CVT extrusion machine for manufacturing parts for electric car battery cooling systems, the plant will “simplify supply chains to the North American market,” Boulet said.

It would also bring “more opportunities for local employment and a new chapter in our Mexican manufacturing journey.” Novares employs over 400 people at the new facility, according to the press release.

Based in the Paris suburb of Clamart, Novares was founded in Monaco in 1955 under the name Mecaplast. In 2016, the company acquired its competitor Key Plastics of Livonia, Michigan shortly after London-based investment firm Equistone Partners Europe acquired a majority stake in Mecaplast.

Mecaplast was renamed Novares in 2017.

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