DETROIT -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has formed its sixth joint venture in China, to produce airbag inflators and seat belt parts.
The U.S. safety systems supplier’s Asia Pacific unit signed an agreement with Xi’an Dong Fang Group Co. The partners will establish a plant in Xi’an, in the northwestern province of Shanxi.
Production is scheduled to begin before the end of the year, TRW said in a statement Friday. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The plant will be TRW’s ninth manufacturing site in China, where it has the ability to make airbags, seat belts, steering wheels, and braking, steering and suspension products.
Chinese manufacturers are pursuing joint ventures with western manufacturers to gain access to more advanced technology. The incentive for western manufacturers is access to the rapidly expanding Chinese automotive market without the cost of investing in a wholly owned plant.
Xi’an Dong Fang is a division of machinery product manufacturer China North Industries Growth Corp.
TRW, of suburban Detroit, ranked No. 10 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers for 2008, with worldwide sales to automakers that year of $15 billion.