Manufacturing News

TRW readies 3 more plants in China

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., the safety components supplier being acquired by Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen, said it plans to open three plants in China this year and next.

"The opening of these new facilities demonstrates our continued investment in China and our commitment to supporting the rapid growth of the automotive market here," said Mark Stewart, Asia Pacific vice president of TRW, in a statement Monday.

Two of the plants will be on the same Zhanghjiagang campus in the province of Jiangsu.

One of those plants will build braking systems with operations scheduled to start at the end of the second quarter.

The 75,000-square-foot facility will manufacture and assemble electric park brake, integrated park brake and front calipers, housing machining, carrier machining and actuation machining and assembly. According to TFW, 750 people will be employed at the plant by the end of 2016.

The other new plant on the Zhanghjiagang campus will be for occupant safety systems. Production is planned to start in November. The plant will be 52,000 square feet and will assemble driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags. Additionally, seat-belt technologies, including TRW's FS1 and SPR4 retractors, buckle head and hood lifters, will be produced. The company said about 500 people will be employed there by the end of 2016.

TRW will localize inflator production at the third plant, its occupant safety systems facility in Xian. Production is scheduled to start in July 2016.

China growth
"With our new facilities, we will have a total of 25 operations in China and in excess of 10,000 employees since we began operations over 20 years ago," Stewart said.

TRW's largest technical center is in China.

The company, which supplies Ford, GM, Volkswagen and others, is being acquired by ZF in a transaction valued at $13.5 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of June pending regulatory approvals.

Once completed, the transaction will put ZF in position to become the world's second-largest maker of original-equipment auto parts, trailing only Robert Bosch GmbH.

Also on Monday, TRW said its Shanghai auto show exhibit is highlighting its range of automotive safety technologies being launched on several SUVs in China.

A handful of Chinese SUVs unveiled at the show contain TRW components. Also, the Jeep Renegade is fitted with TRW's integrated electric park brake, electronic stability control and passenger and side airbags and seat belts.

The Ford Kuga features TRW's electrically powered steering belt drive.

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