Dana speeds r&d growth in Asia
Pyle: Designing components in Asia for Asia.
TOKYO -- U.S. powertrain supplier Dana Holding Corp. is expanding its Asia-focused product development by opening technical centers in China and India this year.
Dana wants to design components closer to Asia's booming auto market and thus boost business with both global and local automakers, including Dongfeng Motor Corp. of China and Tata Motors Ltd. of India.
"It's all about designing in Asia for the Asia market," Robert Pyle, president of Asia-Pacific operations, told Automotive News. "It's increasingly important that we're designing product with local engineers who know the market the best."
Asia accounts for about 20 percent of Dana's sales. That share is expected to increase, Pyle said. He declined to give targets but forecast double-digit sales growth in Asia.
Dana, of Maumee, Ohio, wants to increase sales of products such as lightweight propeller shafts, battery cooling units for electrified cars and its continuously variable planetary transmission.
In March, the China technical center opens in the city of Wuxi, northwest of Shanghai. Nearly 200 people there will design, develop and test axles, propeller shafts and other components.
In India, Dana will move and expand a technical center in Pune. The new center, near a Dana factory on the outskirts of Pune, will have 550 staffers and more testing facilities.
Also, Dana is in talks with several Japanese makers of batteries for electric and hybrid cars to supply battery cooling plates. Pyle declined to name the companies.
Dana supplies liquid-cooled plates used in batteries from LG Chem in the Chevrolet Volt hybrid and the Ford Focus Electric.
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