Magneti MarelliChina – The company has inaugurated a new lighting systems plant in Xiaogan, Hubei Province, and enlarged an electronic systems facility in Guangzhou, Guangdong. The total investment comes to around €36m ($40m).

Operated by the Hubei Huazhong Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting joint venture, the Xiaogan factory is located on a 44,000 sq.m site, 28,000 sq.m of which is covered space. The complex includes a 4,000 sq.m R&D centre. The launch capacity will be 500,000 headlights, rising to 2.5m headlights and 2.5m rear lights in 2019; the workforce will also increase over the next five years, from 160 in 2015. There is a plan to triple the initial investment of €14m over the next five years, in line with market growth.

Xiaogan will start by making headlights for the Ford Taurus in the halogen version plus the full LED version with the E-light adaptive system. Other OEMs in the area include Changan Ford, Changan Suzuki, Changan itself, DPCA and Dongfeng Honda.

The expansion at Guangzhou cost €22m and will see capacity increasing from 3.5m electronic modules for automotive applications to 10m by 2019. The workforce will almost double by 2019, from 650 at present. The total area of the complex is 50,000 sq.m, 41,000 sq.m of which is covered, and includes a 3,500 sq.m R&D centre.

Guangzhou was Magneti Marelli’s first plant in China, founded in 1996 to produce instrument clusters for the Peugeot 505, and is located near to the automotive factories of the Huadu district. Its main clients, local and global, are: CAPSA, DPSA, PSA, FAW-VW, Geely, GAC, GAC-Fiat, SGMW, Qoros Automotive, SAIC Motor and SVW, Suzuki, SGM and BYD.

“With these two new facilities, we keep on expanding our presence in China, which for Magneti Marelli is becoming more and more important,” said Eugenio Razelli, CEO of Magneti Marelli. “We accelerated this process in the last five years, following the Chinese market growth and the consequent needs of our clients.” He added that the “key element” of the plant launches was the localisation of design, development and production capabilities.