WILMINGTON, DE - DuPont Co. has boosted its ownership stakes in the DuPont Red Lion joint-venture automotive-coatings businesses in China in moves the company said "reinforce its position as the leading coatings supplier in the growing Chinese automotive industry." Financial terms of the moves were not disclosed.

The company has increased its stake in the DuPont Red Lion - Beijing joint venture to 76% from 60%, and has renamed the business DuPont Red Lion (Beijing) Co., Ltd. The joint venture was initially launched in 1992.

DuPont has acquired 100% ownership of the DuPont Red Lion joint venture in Changchun with the purchase of the remaining 40% interest held by Red Lion. The business has been named DuPont Performance Coatings - Changchun. The joint venture was initially launched in 1995.

Marty M. McQuade, DuPont vice president and general manager of the automotive OEM coatings unit of DuPont Performance Coatings, DuPont Herberts Automotive Systems, said the increased ownership positions will allow the company to "be better able to meet the growth objectives of the Chinese automotive industry" with technology advances focused on "aesthetics, durability and environmental compliance."

DuPont said its current coatings-manufacturing operations in Beijing will relocate to new facilities in a Beijing industrial zone, with startup of the facility anticipated by the end of 2005.

In Changchun, DuPont said it will upgrade facilities to meet international standards, and will increase production capacity. The plant is capable of manufacturing a variety of automotive coatings, including waterbornes, and also supplies resins for local use.

DuPont also said it is accelerating the upgrading and expansion of the production facilities.