Haartz strengthens global presence with China expansion

Tue, 11/01/2022 - 12:17 -- debhaartz

Around the turn of the century, the Chinese automotive market showed significant growth, with many North American OEM customers expanding into the region. Haartz couldn’t help but take notice of this growth especially within the automotive interiors marketplace, as many customers began to ask about the company’s plans for the region.

Following a successful expansion into Europe, Haartz explored the Chinese market for several years before taking what became an important milestone step for the company’s global automotive interior business growth.

In 2012 Haartz started with a local warehouse and supported Ford business with North American made product stored in this warehouse. The setup was successful, but quickly determined to be financially unsustainable.

Determined to find a successful model, Haartz considered various options for establishing local manufacturing before HaartzMinth, a joint venture with Minth group, was officially established in 2016. Aggressive plans were put in place to design and install TPO manufacturing in the Minth facility in Ningbo. Manufacturing officially started in 2018 and several programs transferred from Haartz North America to this facility.

“Setting up a manufacturing base in China required a huge commitment from the Haartz team,” said John Millea, Vice President of Global Automotive Interiors for Haartz. “It was a team effort with collaboration across departments and several trips to our manufacturing site to ensure equipment was installed correctly and the startup was smooth.”

In 2020 HaartzMinth announced a new partner in their strategic alliance for the Chinese automotive market, TMG Automotive of Portugal, and created a new joint venture company called HaMinGi. 

TMG was a highly respected company supporting all major European Union automotive OEMs and had shared a strong technical alliance with Haartz for more than a decade. They brought their expertise in PVC Synthetic Leather to HaMinGi, allowing the new company to enter the seating market.

For many new OEM platforms, it was becoming apparent that customers required material suppliers who could support them with a broad range of material technologies globally.  Haartz, TMG, and HaMinGi offered just that.

“Prior to the move into China, customers may have viewed Haartz as a strong player in the North America door panel market,” said Millea. “Customers quickly recognized Haartz as a major player who could support their needs with many different products, in different global areas. The ability for Haartz North America to support a vehicle platform in North America along with TMG and HaMinGi supporting the same platform in Europe and China respectively became a very important factor in new business competition and award.”

Today, the future for Haartz in Asia remains very promising. HaMinGi is off to a fantastic start, with a growing list of OEM and Tier 1 automotive customers. With the addition of PVC Synthetic Leather in late 2022, the company will be positioned to support a much broader range of automotive interior products.


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