Valeo has designs on driving development in China

Updated: 2011-04-02 10:33

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The French automotive components and systems supplier Valeo Group aims to double its turnover in China by 2015, by increasing investment and strengthening its research and development (R&D) capability.

"We expect to double our sales revenue by 2015, based on our 2010 sales of $1 billion in the Chinese market, by bringing investment of between 400 million euros ($566 million) and 500 million euros to our Chinese operations over the next five years," said Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo's chief executive officer, on Friday.

During the past five years, Valeo has expanded in China with the rate of sales growth registering an average 30 percent annually.

"Our next five-year target will be beneficial not only for our market growth, but also for the development of our customer base, our enlarged product portfolio and our innovative technologies in emissions reduction and comfort and safety in China's booming automotive industry," said Aschenbroich.

He added that he hopes China, currently the company's second-largest market by employees and third-largest by sales, will become its No 1 in terms of employees and second in terms of revenue by 2015. By then, the company will have 15,000 employees in the country and 20 percent of them will be engineers.

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"Asia, led by China, is a key market for Valeo. It represented 19 percent of our sales in 2010 and should represent at least 30 percent in 2015," said Aschenbroich.

Christian Marsais, vice-president of Valeo and president of Valeo China Group, said the company's Chinese operation supplies products to both domestic and overseas original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). "We estimate Chinese OEMs will account for 30 percent of our sales by 2015," said Marsais.

To aid the design and development of products specifically aimed at China-based vehicle producers, Valeo inaugurated a new global electronics-expertise center in Shenzhen this week. It's the company's third R&D facility in China.

"R&D activity is key to Valeo's strategy of accelerating development in fast-growing markets, in particular in China. The number of engineers working for us in the country will more than double, rising from 1,300 in 2010 to 3,000 in the next five years," said Aschenbroich.

He also said that Valeo will open another R&D facility in Shanghai later this year, focusing on automotive powertrain design and development.

"Over the next five years, 30 percent of our global R&D investment will go into the Chinese market, because we see China as an emerged, not an emerging, market in the automotive industry," he added.


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