Greenfield plant to cast, machine aluminum chassis and powertrain parts
- Startup in 2018
- First foundry in Europe
- Designed for future growth of lightweight automotive market
Chassix operates five metalcasting plants in the U.S., including on in Bristol, IN, casting aluminum brackets, control arms, cross members, and steering knuckles for automotive programs.
Chassix, the Michigan-based automotive foundry group, announced plans for a $50-million greenfield plant in the Czech Republic, to produce aluminum chassis and powertrain parts for passenger vehicles. The new foundry will produce aluminum parts and also offer finish machining and assembly services. It would be operational early next year, according to the Chassix announcement.
No details of the foundry design or equipment selection were made available.
Chassix was formed in 2013 by a private finance group, Platinum Equity, which merged two of its holdings, casting group SMW Automotive LLC and specialty machining specialist Diversified Machine Inc., into a global enterprise that today operates 24 plants in seven countries, with a reported 4,500 employees.
While Chassix has finish machining and assembly plants in France and Spain, the Czech operation would be its first location in Central or Eastern Europe, and its first metalcasting operation in the region. Other plants are in Brazil, China, and Mexico, as well as five metalcasting and 10 machining and assembly operations in the U.S.
The new plant at Ostrava, Czech Republic, will span 140,000 sq.ft., “further vertically integrating the Chassix manufacturing footprint in each of the key automotive regions.” Ostrava is a city of 300,000 in the eastern part of the country, near to the borders of Poland and Slovakia, and near to the operations of several automotive OEMs and tier suppliers.
While the plant will produce aluminum castings and employ approximately 350 workers, the design may be adapted for future development of the lightweight automotive parts sector.
“Chassix Ostrava is aligned with Chassix’s global strategy of partnering with our customers to provide tailor-made engineering and manufacturing solutions for safety-critical chassis and powertrain components where our customers need us most,” stated CEO Doug DelGrosso.