TRW Automotive's commercial steering business has opened a new manufacturing facility in Changchun, China.

Located in the Changchun high-tech development zone, the 30,000-square-metres site is the new home to TRW Fawer Commercial Vehicle Steering Systems (Changchun) (TFCVS), a joint venture between TRW Automotive JV and Fawer Automotive Parts, a subsidiary of China's largest vehicle maker, the First Automobile Works (FAW).

TFCVS launched operations in April 2004. TRW holds 55% of the venture equity and Fawer holds 45%.

The plant supplies more than 20 types of steering products to domestic and overseas commercial vehicle markets, with primary customers being the middle-sized truck and heavy truck manufacturers. The plant also exports machined components to the US and Mexico.

The new TFCVS facility accommodates 14 production lines with an annual capacity of 250,000 units. Two of the newly installed lines produce steering gears and parts based on TRW advanced steering (TAS) technology. TAS products are claimed to require less steering effort, and offer more responsive, precise steering and reduced noise levels than comparable products.

Ed Carpenter, vice president ofTRW Asia Pacific, is chairman of the TFCVS board.