Ferndale's Gage Products has signed a joint venture agreement with Sichuan Sikeyonghe Technologies (SKYH) to provide automotive solvents and solvent recycling at a new facility to be built in Chongqing, China.

Construction of the plant on an 8.4 acre greenfield site will begin in three to six months with production expected to start by the end of 2018. Investment in the project will be US$8-10m and be shared equally by the venture partners.

Called Gage Products (Chongqing), the JV will have up to 30 employees with plans to expand to other locations to meet China's rapidly growing need for automotive solvents and solvent recycling services.

Gage's global customer includes 20 vehicle manufacturers and two dozen automotive and industrial suppliers. It provides high-performance solvent blends, as well as solvent reclamation and recycling services to GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, KIA, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Honda, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Volvo, Tesla, BMW, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Faraday Futures, Fisker, Freightliner, Peugeot-Citroen, Volkswagen and Fiat.

"[We have] been a pioneer in the development of sustainable, closed loop manufacturing processes," said chairman and president Dan Finkiewicz. "Our partnership with SKYH has tremendous growth potential and provides us with an opportunity to introduce industry leading solvent technology to the world's largest automotive market.

"Our sustainable, environmentally responsible processes have proven to reduce emissions and have a positive impact on air quality. We look forward to working with our European and US automotive customers with facilities in China, as well as having a chance to introduce our technology to a number of Chinese automakers and suppliers."

Xiaodong Lu, chairman of SKYH, said: "Gage was carefully chosen as a partner because of its reverence for the environment and its concern for the health and well being of workers in the automotive industry. With such parallel philosophies, our two companies are prepared for significant success and profitability."

Based in Ferndale, Michigan, Gage claims to be an industry leader in automotive paint systems, solvents and specialty test and reference fuels and that it is considered a pioneer in the development of sustainable, closed-loop manufacturing processes for automotive paints.

The third generation, family owned business was founded in 1936.

It recently opened new laboratory facilities in Ferndale to bring R&D, quality control and customer service laboratories in house.