Dana Corp, and Dongfeng Motor Co. Ltd. have signed an agreement to form a joint-venture company to develop and produce commercial vehicle axles in China. The 50/50 joint venture will be called Dongfeng Dana Axle Co. Ltd. Driveshafts and other products for commercial vehicles may be added to the joint venture following its establishment.
The signing ceremony took place in Xiangfan with local and regional government and business development officials in attendance. The joint venture is expected to be finalized in the third quarter following customary government approvals and the completion of other necessary conditions.
To form Dongfeng Dana Axle, Dana will invest approximately $60 million in an existing Dongfeng subsidiary, which is China's largest commercial vehicle axle manufacturer. Headquartered in Xiangfan, China, the joint-venture company will employ approximately 8,000 employees in three production facilities in Xiangfan and Shiyan, as well as a research and development center that will be established in Wuhan.
"We are pleased to reach this milestone with Dongfeng," said Dana Chairman and CEO Mike Burns. "This Chinese joint venture will continue to supply the axle needs of Dongfeng Motors while serving as a world-class, globally competitive medium- and heavy-axle supply base for Dongfeng and Dana."
"The leadership, product expertise, commitment to new technology, and people of Dana and Dongfeng make this an exciting opportunity for both companies," said Dongfeng Motor Co. Chairman and CEO Miao Wei. "Most importantly, Dongfeng Dana Axle will benefit our customer base."
Dongfeng Motor Co. President Katumi Nakamura added, "Dana's management practices and experience in the global vehicular market will help Dongfeng Dana Axle be a model for progress for the Dongfeng Components Group in the international markets."
Dongfeng Dana Axle will continue to primarily supply Dongfeng Motor, which itself is one of the world's largest truck producers, while also expanding its product offerings and customer base predominantly in the Chinese market. Annualized sales for the joint venture company in 2005 are expected to be approximately US$400 million.
"Dongfeng Dana Axle will be the largest commercial vehicle axle supplier in Asia," said Nick Cole, president of Dana's Heavy Vehicle Technologies and Systems Group. "For Dana's Commercial Vehicle Systems business, this joint venture also provides a great opportunity to balance our extensive operations in North America."