Looks are everything for Plastic Omnium, maker of auto exterior panels, exterior trim, bumpers, and fuel systems. Its automotive parts account for the majority of sales, with major customers including GM and Nissan. Part of the group's growing urban systems segment, subsidiary Plastic Omnium Environment manufactures waste collection and recycling containers; it is also directly involved in recycling management. Its Inergy Automotive Systems subsidiary produces auto fuel systems and has production facilities in Michigan; South Carolina; and Ramos, Mexico. About 70% of the company's sales come from are outside of France. Burelle controls 52% of the company.
Plastic Omnium acquired the other half of Inergy Automotive Systems that it didn't already own in 2010 for €270 million ($350 million). Previously, Inergy Automotive Systems was a joint venture between Plastic Omnium and Solvay, with about 25 manufacturing facilities in almost 20 countries. Plastic Omnium has used Inergy Automotive Systems to strengthen its position in the automobile emissions sector, as well as increase its capacity and presence in emerging markets such as China, India, and South America. Recognizing an opportunity to strengthen its production base in North America, Inergy Automotive agreed to acquire the fuel system (plastic fuel tanks) manufacturing assets of Ford Motor in mid-2011. Ford will become a main customer of Plastic Omnium once the transaction is completed later in the year. – less