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April 18, 2019

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Auto parts makers optimistic on China

Auto parts suppliers are optimistic about the Chinese car market, as well as new opportunities created by advances in e-mobility and autonomous driving, industry representatives said at the ongoing Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.

German automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler expects its China business to double in the next five to seven years and has been readying itself for a transformation in transportation and mobility services.

Matthias Zink, CEO of Automotive OEM at Schaeffler, told reporters the company expects to prepare for the technology shift by offering bottom-up upgrades and solutions and addressing safety concerns in autonomous driving.

Schaeffler China President Zhang Yilin said half its China business comes from local automakers and while the market saw a dip last year, it has not reached its peak.

Strong trend to e-mobility

Schaeffler is presenting an extensive range of products for application in various types of powertrains at the exhibition.

It also announced the start of production of axles for electric SUVs at its plant in Taicang, eastern Jiangsu Province.

Germany’s leading mechatronics provider, Brose, is eying an investment of at least 300 million euros (US$339 million) in the next three years to expand production capacity and strengthen R&D.

Kurt Sauernheimer, CEO of Brose Group, said last year China sales grew 5 percent against an overall drop in the market.

“We expect China to represent 30 percent of our global business very soon and we will grow our customer portfolio in Asia, and especially China,” he said.

The trend toward e-mobility will bring new opportunities for Brose’s mechatronics offerings, said Brose China President Jenny Xiang in an interview.

Brose also noted increasing local demand for comfortable, functional and tailor-made interiors and it will continue to roll out localized product offerings for the domestic market.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers estimates that new-energy vehicle sales in the country are set to reach 1.6 million units this year.

NEV sales in China are soaring as the overall market falls, surging 85.4 percent year on year in March, compared with a 6.9 percent decrease in total sales.

Faurecia, another leading automotive technology supplier, plans to double its sales in China over the next four to five years, thanks to growing demand for sustainable mobility and personalized on-board experiences.

“China is one of Faurecia’s key and strategic markets, and represented about 15 percent of the group’s sales last year,” Li Jingcheng, vice president of strategy and development at Faurecia, told Shanghai Daily. “We expect this figure to exceed 20 percent within the next four to five years.”

Meanwhile, parts giant Continental will invest heavily in new Chinese production sites in coming years, including a “sharp expansion” in powertrain production capacity in Tianjin and Changzhou. It expects “diversified demands” from the Chinese market, despite the recent slump.


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