SHANGHAI -- China accounts for a tiny part of Magneti Marelli Holding S.p.A.'s total sales. But it is the Italian supplier's fastest-growing market, and new country manager Luca Biagini is engineering an expansion to quicken that pace.
Magneti Marelli, part of the Fiat Group, had worldwide sales of 3.80 billion euros, or $4.48 billion at current exchange rates, in 2004; China sales barely topped $59.0 million, says Biagini.
"Up to now, Magneti Marelli has invested 35 million euros ($41.3 million) in China," he says. "We are looking to double that over the next two years."
How? By launching a new product line in China this year, doubling capacity in an existing operation and introducing another product line next year.
Magneti Marelli recently started manufacturing head lamps and rear lamps in Wuhu, in the central China province of Anhui.
Wuhu is home to Chery Automobile Co., one of China's biggest domestic automakers.
Besides Chery, the plant will also supply PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA and Audi. Most of the lighting products will be sold domestically, says Biagini.