American Axle to Gain Marketshare in China

Expanded joint venture will produce light commercial-vehicle axles

American Axle & Manufacturing’s manufacturing joint venture in China will expand to include all of Hefei Automobile Axle Co. Ltd.’s light commercial-vehicle axle business. Hefei Automobile Axle Co. is a subsidiary of the Anhui Jianghuai Automotive Group Co. Ltd. (JAC), a state-owned builder of cars and light trucks. The company’s joint venture with AAM started up in 2009 at a site west of Shanghai, and each partner controls 50% of the venture.

While the transition requires regulatory approval, AAM stated it expects the change to be effective this month.

It’s the second time this year that AAM has gained marketshare by altering a venture. In January, it assumed full ownership of M. Sona Axle Private Limited Joint Venture in Pantnagar, India, a company it founded in 2007 with India’s Sona Koyo Ltd. to produce automotive, SUV, and light truck axle assemblies for the Indian market.

The Chinese venture, Hefei AAM Automotive Driveline & Chassis System Co., now supplies rear beam axles, rear drive modules, power transfer units, and suspension corners for China’s passenger car, SUV, and MPV markets.

AAM said adding the additional light- and medium-duty commercial axle business will allow the venture to supply front- and rear-beam axles to some of China’s largest light-truck manufacturers, including JAC and BAIC Foton. Also, it said the move would position American Axle as the second largest axle supplier in that market.

"The expanded Hefei AAM joint venture broadens AAM`s product offerings and customers in the fast-growing China market. The new products to be manufactured in this facility, as well as the new customers to be served, support our long-term strategic goals of expanding and diversifying AAM`s product portfolio, customer base and global manufacturing and sourcing footprint," stated the company’s chairman chairman Richard E. Dauch.

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