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Auto glass maker looks to Europe, S. America

By Ding Qingfen | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-04 07:48

Fuyao Glass, the world's second-largest auto glass maker by sales, expects to see strong overseas sales growth in the years ahead with Europe and South America leading the way, according to its corporate chairman.

"The European debt crisis has created new opportunities for Fuyao to expand the business overseas in specific regions," Cao Dewang, chairman of Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co Ltd, told China Daily on the sidelines of the annual session of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, which opened on Sunday.

"European countries, such as Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, and South America, led by Brazil, are the places Fuyao is targeting," said Cao, a member of the CPPCC National Committee.

Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, Chinese overseas direct investment has been on the rise amid the drop in the global foreign direct investment, and increasing numbers of Chinese companies have been seeking opportunities to acquire their global counterparts.

But the chairman, who is also a philanthropist, said Fuyao is not trying to buy their competitors and will not consider mergers and acquisitions in the target markets in the short term.

In 2011, the company announced it would spend $200 million to build a factory in Russia that will begin operations this year.

The factory, which is expected to produce 1 million units of auto glass annually, will supply the Russian market and Eastern Europe, a region that is increasingly expanding amid the European debt crisis.

As the nation's largest auto glass maker, Fuyao's sales revenue during the first three quarters of last year increased by 6.3 percent from a year earlier to $7.55 billion, according to a corporate statement published at the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Cao said the overseas market outperformed the domestic in growth. "We witnessed a 30 to 40 percent gain in overseas sales last year," he said.

He said the overseas market contributed more than 50 percent of Fuyao's sales in 2012.

Fuyao's growth momentum in overseas markets will continue in the coming years, Cao said.

So far, its overseas sales have mainly come from Asia and North America, but Europe and South America are now becoming major markets.

"Fuyao is the exclusive supplier of Volvo and the largest supplier to Volkswagen. In South American counties, such as Brazil, we also see big potential," Cao said.

In 2012, Russia announced it was joining the World Trade Organization, and the country may surpass Germany as the largest production and sales market in Europe in the next two years.

BRICS nation Brazil is expected to grow into the world's third-largest auto market in 2018, from the fifth-largest in 2011.

dingqingfen@chinadaily.com.cn

 

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