IAC Opens World-Class Manufacturing Facility In Bals, Romania

BALS, ROMANIA, (October 23, 2012) – International Automotive Components (IAC) Group today celebrated the dedication of a new world-class manufacturing facility in Bals, Romania, approximately 230 kilometers west of Bucharest. Located in Romania’s emerging technology region in the province of Olt, the new site is a green field operation employing approximately 250 people. The Bals manufacturing plant is IAC’s 27th in Europe and joins more than 90 IAC locations around the word.

“The Bals plant underscores IAC’s commitment to deliver complex vehicle interiors solutions to our global customers that are in line with their strategies for geographic expansion and global platform manufacturing. This investment represents a key milestone for the company’s strategy of profitable growth in the European region,” said James Kamsickas, IAC Group President and CEO.

In June 2012, the IAC Bals plant began production to support Ford Motor Company’s nearby assembly facility in Craiova, approximately 25 kilometers from the IAC facility. The IAC facility produces instrument panels, center consoles, rear doors, front door panels and headliners for Ford’s new B-Max compact mini MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle).

“We are proud to support Ford’s launch of the new Ford B-Max,” said Kamsickas. “This new facility also strategically positions IAC to support other automotive customers in the region.”

Considering the Eastern European geographic location of the facility and the complexity of the products IAC manufactures in Bals, IAC embarked on a very aggressive vertical integration strategy in the 15,000-square meter plant. This vertical integration strategy, combined with the plant’s incorporation of IAC’s global operating practices, serve as key enablers to achieving excellent quality, delivery and customer satisfaction performance. In addition, by optimizing the processes and equipment throughout the upstream facility development, IAC has successfully preserved available floor space capacity to support future manufacturing opportunities.

The Bals facility is IAC’s first manufacturing facility to introduce FastKast, IAC’s proprietary A-surface material manufacturing process. FastKast incorporates thermoplastic polyolefin and polyvinyl chloride resins in conjunction with IACs advanced process development, which provides enhanced product quality, improved tactile feel and aesthetics on instrument panels and other interior trim components. In 2013, FastKast will be launched in multiple IAC facilities across the global network of plants.

In addition to its state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, the Bals plant has been able to attract a very talented and skilled workforce, further enabling a flawless launch and setting a benchmark for future IAC plant start-ups. As part of its commitment to the region, IAC is working with the Technical College in Bals, developing key projects together and aiming to implement other new partnerships with the institution.

Customers, local authorities, suppliers and industry representatives joined IAC employees and executives for the dedication ceremony.