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Auto Parts Company Boosts Qingdao Plant
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Brussels-based Westinghouse Air Brake Co (WABCO) has more than doubled its investment in its Qingdao factory to meet projected demand for automotive parts, mainly for heavy-duty vehicles.

WABCO has invested US$19 million to expand its manufacturing facilities in Shandong Province's Qingdao, said Liu Liang, its Asia-Pacific president. The Qingdao factory was established in 2004 with an initial investment of US$16 million. The company entered the China market in 1996 with a joint venture in Jinan, also in Shandong.

"China is one of our key engines for global expansion, and we are speeding up our efforts to follow the Chinese market's fast development," said Liu.

WABCO's sales in China have maintained an annual average growth of 50 percent over the past few years, while its growth rate in global markets was about 8 percent a year. For the Asia-Pacific region, sales grew at an average 12 percent.

WABCO is a global manufacturer of electronic braking systems, computerized stabilizers, suspension and transmission control systems for commercial vehicles.

China is the largest single market for WABCO, Liu said. The nation produces more than 600,000 heavy-duty commercial vehicles every year - more than either Europe or North America. WABCO's market share of anti-lock braking systems (ABS) in China has been maintained at 60 to 70 percent in the past couple of years, Liu said. WABCO has been a pioneer in the development of ABS in cooperation with DaimlerChrysler since 1981.

Liu predicted the demand and yield of commercial cars in China will rocket with next year's Beijing Olympics and the 2010 World Expo.

(China Daily September 1, 2007)

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