Asashi Glass has announced that it will be establishing an auto glass plant at its subsidiary AGC Flat Glass, which will have the capacity to equip about 1.2 million vehicles a year.
Production for laminated and tempered glass for vehicles is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015.
AGC will “gradually stop running the manufacturing facilities for PV cover glass at AFS … and will convert the relevant assets into a plant for producing automotive glass,” according to officials.
With Chinese auto production expected to surpass 20 million units in 2013 and continue growing at about 5% annually, management says the changeover makes sense.
“To cope with growing demand for automotive glass, AGC considers it necessary to further expand production capacity for this glass,” officials write in a statement.
“Meanwhile, selling prices of the cover glass of solar cells are rapidly dropping due to excessive capital investments by Chinese glass manufacturers,” officials continue. “Against this backdrop, in 2012, AGC closed a PV cover glass plant in the US, and stopped producing raw glass for PV cover glass in the Philippines. Despite such measures, however, profitability of the PV cover glass business is deteriorating as the situation of lower prices for such glass has not been improved, hurt by excessive supply,” officials add.