Safety Components International, a producer of airbag fabrics and airbag cushions for the automotive industry, is expanding into China.

The firm is partnering with Huamao (Xiamen) Technical Textile Co. in Xiamen, China, one of China's leading textile companies that provides full service design, production and testing of technical fabrics. Huamao produces more than 90 million yards of fabric annually and has completed an extensive investment to support, upgrade and improve preparation, weaving, finishing, coating, laminating and full testing of coated and uncoated airbag fabrics.

Safety Components has entered into a technology transfer and joint venture agreement with Huamao whereby Safety will provide technical assistance to Huamao in the development of airbag fabrics. The two firms are establishing a joint venture to be known as Automotive Safety Components International (Changshu) Co., Ltd. which will cut, sew and fold airbag cushions.

Huamao will supply airbag fabrics to ASCI China from their existing Xiamen, China operation. As majority owner, Safety will manage ASCI Changshu's new facility located in Changshu, about 80 kilometres northwest of Shanghai. The facility is in the final stages of construction and will be completed in early 2005.