ArvinMeritor Inc opens new plant in China

ArvinMeritor Inc has opened a new manufacturing facility in the Wai Gao Qiao, Shanghai Free Trade Zone, to keep pace with China's growing commercial vehicle market.

Initially, about 20 persons will be employed at the plant. This operation is expected to produce $5 million in sales in fiscal year 2003. According to Larry Dowers, vice-president-business development and China operations, the 2,100-square-meter (22,600-square-foot) facility will first assemble and manufacture bus and coach axles and brakes. These will include components for low-floor buses. Subsequently, the facility will assemble and supply total axle assemblies for commercial vehicles globally.

Site manager at the Shanghai facility will be Clifford Pride. Marc Suri will continue as the company's Commercial Vehicle Systems director of China operations.

ArvinMeritor operates two joint ventures in China: Xuzhou, Jiangsu, for specialty axles, which employs about 1,000 persons; and Shiyan City, Hubei, which employs about 200 persons and manufactures brakes. The company's two other Chinese manufacturing facilities are in Zhenjiang and Shanghai, and they produce light-vehicle system components and air and emissions products, respectively.

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