Shenda-owned Auria, the global supplier of vehicle acoustical and fibre-based products, has opened its new Vrable, Slovakia factory producing automotive flooring systems and decorative trim parts for Jaguar Land Rover and "other premium OEM customers".
The new factory spans 80,700 square feet (7,500 square metres) and houses both manufacturing and administrative space.
An additional 80,700 square feet will be added soon. The factory initially will have a workforce of 100 which will increase to 150 with the launch of new business expected over the next two years.
The company has spent about US$10m on the factory to date. The location was chosen due to its proximity to OEM customers' factories in the growing eastern Europe region and the highly skilled, educated workforce in the immediate area.
As well as JLR, which now builds the Discovery locally, Slovakia is also home to Kia and PSA and Volkswagen group vehicle factories.
"This new facility follows through on the commitment we have made to our customers to expand our footprint with manufacturing," said Auria president and CEO Brian Pour.
"As vehicle manufacturing continues to grow in eastern Europe, we see a great opportunity to support our customers from this operation."
"Fibres represent the next frontier for technological advancement for vehicles and other consumer products," said Shanghai Shenda chairman Yao Minghua.
"Shenda companies like Auria are proud to be at the forefront of developing and delivering fibre-based solutions from plants like Vrable which will meet the evolving needs of the transportation industry for decades to come."
Auria recently broke ground on a new factory in Wuhan, China. Once complete, the 242,000 sq ft (22,500 sq m) plant will produce carpeting for Shanghai GM's Chevrolet and Buick models produced locally. In January 2019, Auria China took possession of the company's new regional headquarters in Shanghai.
Auria Solutions was formed in 2017 with financial headquarters in Coleshill [Birmingham], England and operational headquarters in Southfield, Michigan, Shanghai, China and Duesseldorf, Germany. It operates 27 manufacturing and 11 technical facilities in 12 countries and employs 7,000 worldwide.