Autoliv has started an extension of its airbag and seatbelt assembly plant in Guangzhou in Southern China at a cost of almost US$4m.

The existing Autoliv plant in Southern China was brought into operations three years ago, replacing a leased plant that was started in 2005, with the extension increasing the current 800 employees by 150.

The plant produces airbags and seatbelts both for the domestic Chinese market and for export to Japan. Largest customers are Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Toyota.

Autoliv recently announced three other expansions of its Chinese manufacturing capacity. In the North East, seatbelt manufacturing capability is increasing in Changchun by 25% and in the Yangtze River Delta, its seatbelt manufacturing capacity in Nanjing is to rise by 50%.

In addition, the company is expanding its overall manufacturing capacity in China for electronics by 50%.

Autoliv has ten facilities in China including a technical centre with a crash test facility for complete vehicles. The Company has 5,500 employees in China.

Last year the Chinese market accounted for 11% of the company's sales, up from 4% three years ago. Light vehicle production in China grew by 29% in 2010, while Autoliv's sales grew by more than 60%.