France’s Valeo Group inaugurated a new plant in Huadu Auto City, Guangzhou capital of SouthChina’s Guangdong province, on Friday.
“We are ambitious about the Chinese market, and the country is expected to be Valeo’s largest single market by 2015,” Valeo CEO Jacques Aschenbroich said.
Valeo has about 1,000 engineers in China, accounting for 20 percent of its global total, and the number is expected to grow to 1,500 this year, an insider told the 21st Century Business Herald.
Valeo’s footprint in China can be traced back to 1994. Today it includes 22 sites (inclusive of the Guangzhou Valeo Niles plant), three research centers, nine development centers, and one Valeo Service aftermarket distribution center. Valeo’s sales in China have more than doubled between 2008 and 2011 and are expected to double again by 2015.
As of 31 Dec 2009, Valeo manages 120 production sites, 61 Research & Development centres and 10 distribution platforms in 27 countries. In 2009, its sales were distributed as follows: 64% in Europe, 10% in North America, 18% in Asia, and 8% in South America.
The company confirmed its full-year 2012 guidance for operating margin as it reported a 14% increase in first-quarter revenue to EUR3.03 billion despite weakening European automobile production.
Valeo said it still expects the level of its operating margin in 2012 to be about the same as in 2011.