PPG Industries announced today that it will sell all the assets of its Mt. Zion, Ill., glass manufacturing facility to automotive glass manufacturer Fuyao Glass America Inc. Fuyao will rebuild and retrofit the facility’s two production lines to manufacture automotive glass.
According to PPG, the sale is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.
“Fuyao has been PPG’s business partner for 13 years and is a well-respected glass manufacturer and fabricator,” says Richard Beuke, PPG vice president of flat glass. “We look forward to an ongoing collaborative relationship with Fuyao in North America as a PPG technology licensee. The Mt. Zion facility is ideally suited for their automotive glass mission, given its geographic proximity to major automotive manufacturers and history in automotive glass production.”
Fuyao’s U.S. customer base includes General Motors, Chrysler, Hyundai, Honda and Kia.
PPG will continue to operate the plant for up to one year, producing Sungate coated glass and clear glass. The Mt. Zion facility currently manufactures glass for use in residential and commercial construction markets. The production for these products will eventually be shifted to PPG’s other North American float glass manufacturing sites, according to company. The other sites are located in Carlisle, Pa.; Fresno, Calif.; and Wichita Falls, Texas.
“Glass coatings technology remains the engine of our growth and we plan to make incremental technology investments in our facilities to improve our current capacity for better-performing, low-e glass and to expand our overall technical capabilities for newer, more advanced products,” Beuke says.
The Mt. Zion facility was built in 1959 and converted for float glass production in 1978.
The PPG deal comes on the heels of Fuyao Glass Industry Group chairman and founder Cao Dewang announcing earlier this year the company is purchasing a former General Motors Assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio, to build its first North American automotive glass manufacturing facility.
The Fuyao chairman was in Dayton, Ohio, this week to meet with community leaders, according to a local report.
In April the China-based company saw its first-quarter net profit grow 20.5 percent year-over-year at $75.55 million in USD (472.3 million Chinese Yuan), according to a report.
Fuyao officials had not responded to a request for comment at press time.
The company is the largest automotive glass supplier in China with 65 percent of the market and 18 percent of the global automotive glass market. The company currently has a presence in the U.S., Germany, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Brazil, and many other countries in the world.