Glass Industry

Nippon Sheet Glass to Launch India Production

Japan's Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd. plans to build a 15 million euro ($20 million) automotive glass plant in India with British unit Pilkington, targeting Japanese carmakers eyeing climbing local demand.

The news sent shares in the maker of windshields, crystal and soundproof glass up 6.1 percent to 627 yen on Tuesday, outpacing the Nikkei average , which rose 1.3 percent.

The plant, to go online in summer 2008 with an initial production of 500,000 windshields a year, will supply windshields to local factories, some to be exported to the U.S. and Europe, spokesman Tetsuya Higaki said.

Nippon Sheet Glass, which bought bigger maker Pilkington in June 2006, is betting on overseas growth in its fight against bigger peer Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. to grab orders from Japanese automakers.

The plant, to be built in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, would be Nippon Sheet Glass's first in India.

Asahi Glass dominates India's car glass market with a nearly 80 percent share, followed by France's Saint-Gobain with some 20 percent, according to the Nikkei business daily.

Source: Glass News