Behr to start Chinese joint venture in 2004

Stuttgart. The air conditioning and engine cooling system supplier Behr GmbH & Co. KG has founded a 50:50 joint venture with Shanghai Automotive, a subsidiary of the largest Chinese automobile maker and supplier group, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

The total investment during the next few years in Shanghai Behr Thermal Systems (SBTS) will be 40 million euros, said Behr's CEO, Markus Flik.

In early 2004 the joint venture will start making products for air conditioning and engine cooling systems for both automobiles and commercial vehicles. The Stuttgart-based company will be responsible for the technical side of the operations and will supply the technical managing director.

The sales target for 2004 is 24 million euros and Flik's five-year target is annual sales of 100 million euros. Until SBTS can open a new plant in autumn 2004, production will go ahead with 500 employees at one of SA's plants.

In 2000 Behr formed two 50:50 joint ventures in Japan and in 2002 it founded another one in Korea with partner Hella from Lippstadt.

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