FRANKFURT, Aug 7 (Reuters) - A plant opened in Brazil last year by auto parts maker Norma Group SE may take longer than expected to reach full production due to falling car demand, the company's chief executive said.
As part of a push to expand in Latin America, Norma in April 2014 started production of connectors and fluid systems for passenger cars and trucks at a new plant in Atibaia, Brazil.
But the Brazilian economy, Latin America's largest, has been weakening and is expected to contract nearly 2 percent this year.
"When we opened the plant last year, market expectations were better," Norma Group Chief Executive Werner Deggim said in an interview on Friday, noting it takes about five years to push production at a new site to full levels.
"This is now going to take longer," Deggim said, citing slowing sales and output.
Norma, based near Frankfurt, doesn't break down individual countries' share of global sales but says the Americas accounted for 45 percent of overall sales in the first six months of the year, compared with 32 percent a year ago. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer)