The Voestalpine Group is continuing its internationalisation strategy with the opening of its new Metal Forming Division site in East London, South Africa.
The plant for high-quality automotive components is the latest step in the Group’s comprehensive globalisation strategy in the automotive sector. Voestalpine is currently investing significantly more than EUR 100 million in the facilities in South Africa as well as additional plants in China, the USA, Romania, and Germany. The Group has also recently set a record research budget of EUR 140 million in order to further extend its global technological leadership.
The new Voestalpine Stamptec South Africa plant marks the opening of another international Metal Forming Division site, located close to the production sites of renowned automotive manufacturers. During its starting phase, 30 employees at the new site will generate around EUR 10 million in revenue each year. The product portfolio includes highly complex body-in-white parts such as press-hardened cross members and aluminium components for vehicle doors.
“By using new materials and forming processing we have succeeded in producing components which are absolutely unique in the global marketplace. With our strong focus on innovation we are continuing to drive forward developments in processing, and this provides the basis for our long-term globalisation strategy,” said Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of the Management Board of Voestalpine AG says in a statement.
“With this next step in our expansion, in South Africa, we are again fulfilling our customers’ increasing demand for local presence. Our goal is to be able to serve our main customers worldwide, especially in the premium segment, with the high quality standards to which they are accustomed,” said Herbert Eibensteiner, Management Board member at Voestalpine AG and head of the Metal Forming Division.
Another, significantly larger, production site for high-strength body-in-white parts will open in Cartersville, Georgia (USA) in two months, marking the next step in the Metal Forming Division’s globalization strategy for the automotive sector. The US plant will have 220 employees and will be the new central basis for Voestalpine’s automotive activities in North America.
In order to secure the success of investments in technologically-demanding product sectors and to expand global technological leadership in defined product segments, the Voestalpine Group is increasing its budget for research and development for the BY 2014/15 to a record level of over EUR 140 million. Consequently, Voestalpine remains the most research-intensive industrial enterprise in Austria. In the past ten years alone, R&D expenditure has risen annually by around 11 percent. As a result, since 2003 annual expenditure for R&D has almost tripled, from EUR 48 million to EUR 140 million.
“Research, development and innovation enjoy highest priority at the Voestalpine Group. We invest in each of these key areas on an ongoing basis, because we can only secure our future as an international player in the most demanding product segments through specialization paired with technological and quality leadership,” said Wolfgang Eder, Voestalpine CEO.