WEINHEIM, Germany -- Freudenberg & Co. will expand its production in eastern Europe to defend itself against competition from Chinese suppliers.
"It is our strategic goal to continue our path toward eastern Europe," Chairman Jorg Sost said.
He said that among reasons for expanding eastward are price pressure from customers and the increasing number of exports from Chinese suppliers.
Other advantages are low wages and more flexible working hours than in western Europe - specifically in regard to weekend work.
Freudenberg, a sealing and vibration engineering specialist, has plants in Romania, Czech Republic, Estonia and Hungary.
Sost said that large system suppliers also might withdraw orders if Freudenberg does not move a certain percentage of its production to low-wage countries.