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Adient drives ahead to expand growth in non-automotive revenue

By Wang Ying | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-25 09:09
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China will play a key role in Adient's strategy of expanding its non-automotive revenue to $1 billion per annum by 2021, thanks to the country's ongoing transportation infrastructure development, said a senior executive of the company.

Adient, the world's largest automotive seating supplier based in the United States, spun off from Johnson Controls, is aiming to expand its revenue beyond its traditional automotive business, according to Darlene Knight, Adient vice-president and head of China operations, and she added that "part of that revenue will be from China.

"There are many opportunities for Adient in China's development of transportation, including railway and aviation," said Knight.

China operates the world's longest high-speed railway lines. In 2016 alone, the total distance of the nation's high-speed railway lines reached 22,000 kilometers, up 15.79 percent year-on-year, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Transport.

In addition, 28 out of the 218 airports across the nation serve more than 10 million passenger trips per year, and 50 of the airports handle more than 10,000 metric tons of cargo, official statistics showed.

Adient signed an agreement with Boeing on aircraft seating in March in an effort to diversify its business.

Knight said she was aware of China's first self-made passenger jet airliner C919, which is about to take its maiden flight soon, and she sees possibilities for similar cooperation between Adient and the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China.

"China is a key market for us globally. China is a great story for Adient. Our unconsolidated seating revenue, driven primarily through our strategic JV network in China, grew about 13 percent year-on-year, excluding the impact of foreign exchange," said Knight.

Adient has unveiled several products and concepts at Auto Shanghai 2017, including many that were designed and engineered in China for the local, regional and global automotive industries.

In addition, through its joint venture Adient Yanfeng Seating Mechanism Co Ltd, Adient announced plans to expand its metals and mechanisms plant into a new 90,000 square meters plant located in Changshu, Jiangsu province.

"As automated driving technology advances, the interior will become the focus for consumers. The seating system will influence and enable experiences and interaction that deliver more emotional and physical enjoyment. That is why many of our products and concepts on display here in Shanghai are driving toward the future of autonomous driving," said Richard Chung, Adient's vice-president of global innovation.

Adient was spun off from Johnson Controls' automotive seating business as an independent company in 2016. Globally, it supplies one out of every three automotive seats, and produces 25 million seat systems annually. Last year, it generated $7.5 billion revenue in China, with a 45 percent share of the passenger vehicle seating business.

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