Plastic Omnium has inaugurated a development centre for its exterior parts business in the Chinese city of Anting, thirty kilometres from Shanghai.

The new centre in Anting, whose current staff of 300 engineers and technicians could expand to 450 by 2016, will support Plastic Omnium's China growth.

In 2013, Plastic Omnium said it launched 35 new exterior parts programs for 18 different customers in China. The number of annual launches is expected to increase to 50 by 2015, notably for such customers as Volkswagen, General Motors, SAIC, FAW, BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Jaguar Land Rover.

Through the YFPO joint venture co-owned with Chinese partner Yanfeng-SAIC, Plastic Omnium is presently developing around 100 new programs, mainly concerning bumpers. It has also received four orders for tailgates and one order for fenders. The company says that these two segments are focused on providing innovative solutions to reduce vehicle weight.

In China, Plastic Omnium, through its YFPO joint venture, currently has 13 plants that produce exterior components and owns five plants in its own right: three for its composites business and two that manufacture fuel tanks and fuel systems.