ArvinMeritor plans trailer axle, suspension plant in China

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ArvinMeritor today, Aug. 7, announced it will open a new wholly-owned operation in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. The 300,000-square-foot facility initially will manufacture trailer axles and suspensions for key trailer manufacturers in China, as well as for export of components to North American and European plants.

The company’s board of directors approved the investment in the new facility; production is set to begin in the first half of 2007. Other drivetrain and brake components will be added to the operation’s portfolio, as the company continues to pursue its strategic enterprise model.

“As the country’s infrastructure improves, tractor-trailer configurations are expected to rise exponentially, and we will be ready to support both current and future market needs with advanced technology,” says Sergio Carvalho, vice president and general manager of trailer products and suspensions business for Troy, Mich.-based ArvinMeritor.

Investment in the Wuxi operation will include $35 million for new equipment. The company says it has identified local sourcing for its components, which furthers its integrated manufacturing strategy to bring all aspects of the supply chain within close proximity of the facility.

ArvinMeritor says it plans to become a major player in China’s growing trailer undercarriage market. Today, the company has four commercial vehicle systems manufacturing facilities in China, with one being wholly-owned and the remaining three operating as joint venture partnerships. These locations assemble or produce axles, brakes and related components for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, off-highway and bus and coach markets, in addition to the aftermarket. All products are produced for export or are supplied to leading vehicle manufacturers in China.