DAYTON, Ohio -- General Motors' former Moraine assembly plant -- little more than a cavernous empty concrete shell since GM closed it in 2008 -- is bustling with activity.
Welders are putting the finishing touches on an assembly line that has begun to crank out windshields and windows.
A dozen orange Kuka robots -- shrouded in plastic wrap on the factory floor -- await installation for another assembly line. And a truck idles at the loading dock while workers load the plant's first shipment: a batch of windows for Hyundai's assembly plant in Alabama.
For Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co., the Moraine plant's new owner, that first shipment is a timely symbol of the company's emergence as a global supplier.
With 65 percent of China's automotive glass sales, Fuyao dominates its home market. And with 18 percent of the global market, Fuyao is challenging heavyweights such as Pilkington, Saint-Gobain and Pittsburgh Glass Works.
Until recently, Fuyao was content to ship glass from its network of plants in China. Then the company opened a $322 million plant in Russia in 2013 to serve Europe. Now it is spending $400 million to convert Moraine, near Dayton, into a central production site for North America.
John Gauthier, president of Fuyao Glass America Inc., says he'll have the annual capacity to produce windows for 4 million vehicles by the end of 2016.
"Our timing is good," Gauthier said. "There is a real capacity shortage with glass in the U.S. right now. We'll suck up some of the excess demand that the other companies are struggling to meet."