Bosal Invests In Russian Plant
Global exhaust and towbar manufacturer, Bosal Group, has acquired a 244,000 square metre site at Kaluga, 180 kilometres southwest of Moscow. The largest Bosal site in the world, the Kaluga investment will feature state-of-the-art production facilities and a supplier logistics hub that will play a major role for the distribution of automotive parts in the Russian market. The Dutch-registered privately held business is one of the first OE suppliers to acquire a site at Kaluga, but OEMs including Volvo and Volkswagen have already committed to the area.
Bosal plans to construct a 153,000 square metre plant in stages, the first phase of which will see a 28,000 square metre facility completed by the end of 2008. The Kaluga site will serve as the central manufacturing and distribution hub for Bosal’s operations in Russia where it also anticipates establishing regional satellite facilities to serve OEM assembly plants.
Initially production will focus on exhaust systems and towbars for OE customers and the aftermarket in Russia, central and eastern Europe. Until the new plant is operational, Bosal has leased a facility which will produce exhaust systems for the Renault Logan from November this year.
In subsequent phases Bosal will expand the plant to increase the manufacturing and distribution capacity for exhaust and towbar products. Expansion will also allow Bosal to add production lines for tube, jacks, metal substrate radial flow catalytic converters, hot alloyed strip casting and rolling, and foil rolling and coating. Bosal estimates that ultimately more than 1,000 people will be employed at its Kaluga site.
Karel Bos, chief executive of Bosal Group, said: “This is a very significant development for us; our plans for Kaluga will see it become the biggest of our plants around the world. It signals a definitive commitment to our customers based in eastern Europe and Russia. We will continue to invest in these markets to have facilities local to their assembly plants that are highly flexible and responsive to their needs.”
Alongside its production facility, Bosal’s strategy at Kaluga includes establishing a major logistics hub enabling other suppliers to distribute replacement parts for the aftermarket throughout Russia. Bosal expects the distribution centre will encourage other major tier one suppliers to locate at Kaluga, further developing its position as a major automotive centre.
The Kaluga facility will be Bosal’s second in Russia, following its Bosal Autoflex Russia operation in Novoorsk established last year that manufactures OE and aftermarket towbars.