ArvinMeritor will open a new wholly-owned 300,000 sq. ft. facility in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China, initially to manufacture trailer axles and suspensions for key trailer manufacturers in China, as well as for export of components to North American and European plants.

Production is estimated to begin in the first half of 2007 the company said on Monday.

Other drivetrain and brake components will be added later.

"As the country's infrastructure improves, tractor-trailer configurations are expected to rise exponentially, and we will be ready to support both current and future market needs with advanced technology," said Sergio Carvalho, vice president and general manager of ArvinMeritor's trailer products and suspensions business.

Investment in the Wuxi operation will include $US35m for new equipment.

The company has identified local sourcing for its components, which furthers its integrated manufacturing strategy to bring all aspects of the supply chain within close proximity of the facility.