West in China
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THE STAGE is set for China to become a significant producer of vehicle components, and activity in the commercial vehicle sector in particular is building up, according to the latest quarterly Motor Business report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
In the components field, ZF has already reached agreement with China on the local production of steering equipment and gears. General Motors is reported to be negotiating to set up diesel engine and gearbox plants in China.
From the UK, Armstrong, AE and York Trailer are already represented and several others are expected to follow.
The American Eaton corporation announced last month that it has reached a licensing agrement with the Chinese government for Eaton to provide engineering documentation, technical assistance and the necessary training for its Fuller Roadranger gearboxes to be manufactured there.
Eaton will provide technical assistance in China, and Chinese engineers will be trained in the USA.
In addition to the licensing agreement, Eaton will also supply Roadranger gearboxes for assembly in China.
Robert Gillison, president of Eaton's Truck Components Group, commenting on the deal, said: "China's national automotive industry officials have indicated that accelerated plans call for the import of up to 10,000 heavy duty trucks in the next few years.
"We believe that commitment is a clear signal that China is opening its domestic market in order to become a world class industrial nation."
According to the Motor Business report, the Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Nissan Diesel, Mitsubishi, lsuzu, Daihatsu and Suzuki are in the forefront of those aiming to supply China with trucks, but deals have also been struck by Daimler-Benz, Iveco, MAN and Steyr Daimler Pl1C h.