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  WABCO opens new plant in Qingdao  



WABCO Holdings Inc, a leading vehicle control system maker, opened its first wholly owned manufacturing facility in China yesterday.

The US$35 million investment in Qingdao, Shandong Province, currently produces electronic and advanced commercial vehicle systems, including anti-lock braking systems (ABS), compressors and other braking devices for the domestic and global markets.

Its workforce is expected to increase from the current 240 to over 1,000 by 2012, making the Qingdao factory its third largest in the world.

The Qingdao production base demonstrates WABCO's continued commitment to serving China's commercial vehicle industry, and the importance of the nation as an export platform for the entire Asia-Pacific region, North America and Europe, said Jacques Esculier, CEO of WABCO.

"Qingdao is leading WABCO's efforts to build a truly global supply chain and is a center of excellence for 'Six Sigma Lean' advanced management processes for quality and cost-efficiency. I am proud to bring WABCO technology to China and support the country's effort to enhance transport safety and efficiency, as well as contributing to a better environment," said Esculier.

According to Pratip Dastidar, a management expert at the firm, "Six Sigma" helps to stabilize variations, while the lean factory concept helps to eliminate waste.

Esculier said of its 13 plants worldwide, the company chose the Qingdao site to launch the management processes.

WABCO co-pioneered ABS technology for trucks, trailers and buses with DaimlerChrysler in 1981 and is the first international company to manufacture ABS for commercial vehicles in China after legislation was introduced mandating ABS in 2005.

"The Asia-Pacific region produces more trucks than Europe or North America. To respond to this demand, we will continue to adapt our technology and technical expertise to local requirements and invest in production facilities and people," Esculier said.

"Our ABS technology helps improve safety while our advanced compressor technology supports China's transition from a Euro II to a Euro III environment by reducing emissions and improving fuel economy. All our products contribute to the Chinese government's objective of sustainable development," said Leon Liu, regional president for the Asia-Pacific region.





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