PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) has begun operations at an automotive glass assembly facility in Saltillo for attaching hardware to windshields and sequencing side windows to supply General Motors' (GM) nearby Ramos Arizpe automotive assembly plant.

PPG's satellite facility, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Monterey, has 40 employees and is its 10th just-in-time customer-based assembly operation for automotive original-equipment glass.

PPG also operates automotive coatings service centers in Saltillo for GM and DaimlerChrysler.

According to Mark Fanelli, director of production for automotive OEM glass, the Saltillo automotive glass facility supports PPG's commitment to meet customer needs with value-added products and

"We established the facility to meet GM's local supply needs for the new Pontiac Aztek," Fanelli said. "We were up and running in short time, and have the flexibility to adapt to GM's future requirements."

PPG makes high-performance Sungate solar-control windshields and tempered solar-control side windows at its Evansville, Ind., plant for the Pontiac Aztek. The parts are shipped from Evansville to Saltillo, where molding and hardware are attached and the parts sequenced. PPG delivers the windshields and side windows to GM's Ramos Arizpe assembly plant at the "point of use" and in the sequence for immediate installation.

Daniel J. Quinn is production manager and Guadalupe Herrera is site manager of the PPG Saltillo facility.

In Mexico, PPG also operates an automotive coatings plant at San Juan del Rio, an amorphous precipitated silicas plant at Altamira, a joint-venture facility in Tepeji del Rio for automotive windshields and tempered glass, and an automotive coatings service center at Hermosillo.

PPG is North America's largest manufacturer of flat glass and a global supplier of automotive glass, coatings, fiber glass and chemicals, with about 120 manufacturing locations in 23 countries. Its
1999 sales were US$7.8 billion.