Fuyao Glass America profitable in 2020 despite pandemic

Fuyao Glass America operates in a former General Motors Moraine Assembly Plant. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Fuyao Glass America operates in a former General Motors Moraine Assembly Plant. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

In an historically challenging year for the auto industry, Fuyao Glass America saw a net profit of more than $428,000 in 2020, well down from the $9.7 million reported in 2019, a recently released English translation of the company’s annual report said.

“In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic … had a severe impact on the global economy, with the global economy, trade and investment suffering a severe setback, the global economic growth plummeting, the global geopolitical situation becoming further tense, the quantitative easing monetary measures taken by various countries intensifying financial risks and the global economy being beset with difficulties,” said a chairman’s statement introducing the report.

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Fuyao’s combined Moraine and Mount Zion, Ill. operations last year generated operating revenue of more than $482 million, with an operating profit of about $16.8 million. Net profit was put at $428,142.89.

That was the auto glass producer’s lowest net profit since 2017, when the business reported a net profit of $754,500.

Fuyao Glass America serves automakers in North America. The pandemic shut down domestic auto production across the nation for nearly two months last year and depressed auto sales far beyond what had been expected to be a down year anyway.

According to the National Auto Dealers Association, 2020 came to a close with new-light vehicle sales of 14.46 million units, down 14.7% compared to 2019.

But automakers in the first quarter of 2021 reported generally stronger sales, despite a shortage of computer chips shuttering some U.S. plants and assembly lines.

Worldwide in 2020, Fuyao Global, on a consolidated basis, realized revenue of RMB 19.9 billion, nearly $3.1 billion, representing a decrease of 5.67% compared to 2019, and the company saw a profit before tax of nearly RMB 3.2 billion (more than $493 million), a decrease of 3.76% from 2019.

In 2019, Fuyao Glass America saw a net profit of just over $9.7 million in 2019, down from a net profit of $24.5 million that FGA recorded in 2018.

In a text Monday morning, Jeff Liu, president and chief executive of Fuyao Glass America, confirmed that the company was profitable last year. He said the company is hiring now and is looking for help from college students this summer.

Fuyao Global bought part of what had been a closed General Motors plant in Moraine in 2014, building it into what the company says today is the world’s largest auto glass production site. Fuyao Global says it is the second biggest glass manufacturer in the world and the largest in China.