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DuPont to open Chinese auto-paint plant

By Tim Wright | May 17, 2006

DuPont has announced that it will open a coatings plant in China to meet growing demand as it closes European plants that failed to achieve profit targets.

The factory in the Jiading district of Shanghai will begin production in late 2007 with an initial workforce of 250 people and will make coatings for car makers and other industries.

The Shanghai plant marks DuPont’s 10th coatings investment in China. CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr. is closing car-paint plants and laboratories in the Netherlands, Germany and Spain as part of a plan to cut fixed costs by $1 billion as he focuses on faster growing products and regions.

“This new plant is an excellent example of how we are redesigning our business to respond quickly and effectively with high-quality, technologically advanced products to rapidly growing markets such as those in China,” said Terry Caloghiris, coatings group vice president.

DuPont operates four powder coatings plants in China through a joint venture, a refinish technical center in Shanghai, and training centers for automotive aftermarket customers in Beijing and Shanghai. The company acquired a car-paint plant in 2004 in Changchun, and it has a technical and distribution service center for automakers in Shanghai. The European plant closings will cost $220 million and will reduce expenses by $165 million annually by 2008, DuPont said in March.

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