Auburn Hills-based BorgWarner Inc., a supplier of motor vehicle parts and systems, has begun construction for a new manufacturing facility in the industrial zone of Lanheses, Viana do Castelo in Portugal. Work began in August and is expected to be completed in 2014.
Located about 31 miles from its currently rented site in Valenca, the new 160,000-square-foot building will allow BorgWarner to produce several environmentally friendly technologies, including exhaust gas recirculation coolers and EGR tubes as well as glow plug control modules — key technologies for modern engines aimed at reducing emissions. The production is a small indication the European vehicle market may be stabilizing after several years of stagnation.
The construction of the plant, announced Tuesday, is part of the company’s strategy to expand production of its diesel cold-start technologies while meeting growing demand for the EGR technologies currently produced at the Valenca plant. (BorgWarner expects the global EGR systems market to grow from 21.2 million units this year to 33.3 million units in five years.)
“The need for advanced diesel cold-start technologies is a further driver of our business, especially in Europe, where Euro 6 emissions regulations take effect in 2014,” says Brady Ericson, president and general manager of BorgWarner BERU Systems and BorgWarner Emissions Systems.
The company plans to gradually transfer current production from the Valenca plant to Viana do Castelo, with completion by early 2015.
BorgWarner’s customers include VW/Audi, Ford, Toyota, Renault/Nissan, and General Motors.