TRW Automotive Holdings is opening this year a new airbag sewing site in Roman, Romania, as it tries to meet its anticipated growth in demand for airbag cushions in the next five years. "By 2018, we expect that an additional 12 million sewn bags will be needed,” Frank Mueller, TRW vice president and general manager for global occupant safety systems, said in a statement.
“The new facility will support our airbag plants across Europe," Mueller added. The Roman site is expected to have 400 employees by the end of 2014 and up to 1,000 workers by 2017. The Roman site underscores growing interest in Romania from both suppliers and carmakers.
TRW opened a steering-wheel leather wrapping plant at Timisoara in 2004 and a similar plant in Baia Mare in January 2012. TRW also operates sites in Oravita, Lupeni and Marghita, where its operations cover die casting, foaming and airbag production. Lear Corp. is also opening a new seating plant in Iasi this month, which will be home to around 1,500 workers.
It will be Lear’s fourth facility in Romania, in addition to electrical power management and distribution facilities in Pitesti and Campulung. Daimler, Ford and Renault also operate in Romania. In April 2013, Daimler disclosed plans for a new transmission site in Sebes, close to an existing parts plant in Cugir. Daimler has been building components for engines and transmissions in Romania via a joint venture since 2001. Ford, meanwhile, builds the B-Max in Craiova, and Renault produces the Dacia Duster, Logan, Logan MCV, Logan van, Logan pickup and Sandero in Pitesti.