The new manufacturing facility in Dresden is the first plant expansion for the company outside the U.S. More than 70 percent of Southwall's revenues represent international business. The plant is well positioned to serve the European automobile and glass manufacturing industry where the demand for Southwall's XIR® film has grown significantly. This year more than 1.5 million new European automobiles will be using Southwall's XIR® infrared reflecting film. Used in automobile windshields, sidelights, and backlights, XIR® film reflects infrared light and reduces solar heat gain to improve passenger comfort. Glass laminated with XIR® film also significantly retards the degradation of interior materials -- such as leather, fabrics and plastics -- while blocking 99 percent of the harmful ultraviolet light.
"The opening of our new Dresden facility is an important step in supporting our key customers in this fast growing, solar control automotive glass market where demand has outpaced the supply," said Thomas Hood, president and CEO of Southwall Technologies.
"We and our customers have been looking forward to the additional capacity that our new thin-film vacuum sputtering machines will provide in the months ahead," said Hood. "The first of several identical machines will be ramping up to capacity by the end of this year. In the first quarter of 2001, a second machine will begin production. Eventually, we have plans for five machines at Dresden to supply the worldwide automotive glass market."
The grand opening ceremony will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, facility tour, and the naming of a new street, "Southwall Strasse." High-ranking executives from the leading European automobile and glass companies, German government and finance officers are expected to attend.
Southwall Technologies designs and produces technologically advanced thin film coatings that selectively absorb, reflect or transmit electromagnetic radiation. Southwall products are used in a number of architectural, automotive and electronic products to enhance optical and thermal performance characteristics, improve comfort and reduce energy costs. Southwall exports advanced thin film coating to more than 25 countries around the world for use in products manufactured by such companies as Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Renault, Peugot-Citroen, Volvo, Mitsubishi Electric and Samsung.
Southwall Technologies can be found on the Internet at www.southwall.com. The company can be reached at (650) 962-9111.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. All forward-looking statements included in the document are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Further risks are detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those set forth in the Company's most recent Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.