Business / Companies

Chinese firm YFS to open fuel-tank plant in Detroit

By Paul Welitzkin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-01 10:53

YFS Automotive Systems Inc, a Chinese-owned maker of automotive fuel tanks, will open a plant in Detroit in early 2017 that is expected to eventually employ 174 people.

The nearly $27 million investment, announced on Wednesday, comes despite some problems with China's economy. Growth has slowed more than anticipated and recently the country's stock market has taken a tumble. Despite the current economic headwinds, Brian Connors, China business development manager for the Michigan Economic Development Corp, which helped lure YPF to the Motor City, said the state will remain an attractive place for Chinese auto companies.

"Tighter economic conditions in China are making the market increasingly competitive for Chinese suppliers and auto companies. This heightens the urgency for them of partnering with the most innovative automotive tech companies in the world, the world's largest concentration of which can be found in Michigan," Connors wrote in an e-mail.

Michigan accounts for 76 percent of the automotive R&D investment in North America. Chinese companies come to North America to sell, yes, but they come to Michigan for the engineers.

Connors said that YPF is leaning toward a site near the intersection of two major highways (I-75 and I-94) for a new 150,000 square feet (13,930sq m) facility to design, test, and manufacture automotive fuel-system components. The company will receive a performance-based grant through the Michigan Strategic Fund, which approved a $1.3 million incentive to bring the project to Michigan rather than Ohio.

"YFS locating in Detroit is a reaffirmation of Michigan's competitive business climate," Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said.

He met with YFS officials during an investment mission to China last year. "Our strong economy combined with our top talent makes investing in Michigan ideal for local and international businesses to locate and thrive."

YFS Automotive Systems is a tier-1 supplier of fuel tanks and urea systems for automotive companies.

The company was established in 1997 as ABC Group Fuel Systems Inc and was purchased in 2014 by the Rongshi International Holding Co, a Chinese-owned automotive supplier.

"We are very excited to expand our operations to Detroit and play a role in the revival of Detroit by providing jobs for the people of the area," said YFS President Marius Sipos.

"Being in Detroit will allow us to pass on savings to our customers, optimize our product foot print and provide capacity for growth."

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks