Eaton Corporation is to expand its vehicle operations in China with a new engine valve production facility in Jining City, Shandong Province.

The supplier will start building the 10,000 sq m facility next July. It will assemble engine valves and valve actuation components for customers in China.

Eaton currently manufactures automotive components at its facility in Shanghai – Shanghai Eaton Engine Components Company (SEECO) – for Shanghai Volkswagen, Shanghai General Motors, FAW-Volkswagen, Shenyang Aerospace Mitsubishi, Guangzhou Dongfeng Honda, Changan Suzuki, Changan Ford and Jiangling Motors.

The new Jining plant will be located on the campus of Eaton Hydraulics System (Jining) which produces steering pumps, hydraulic motors and filtration components. It is Eaton’s largest manufacturing base for hydraulics products in the Asia Pacific region.

“The further expansion of Eaton’s production capability is another positive step forward in meeting our significant growth goals in the region,” Frank Wang, general manager – China for Eaton’s vehicle group, told China Weekly News.

“We work closely with both domestic and global automotive manufacturers to develop technology-based solutions for their needs in the fast-growing Chinese market, and we’re excited about the growth possibilities this new facility provides.

“With continued investment in Jining, we are expanding our industrial sector operations to now include hydraulics, filtration, and vehicle components. The expanded manufacturing capability in China will give Eaton significant momentum in this key growth market,” Wang added.

Group president Joseph Palchak said: “The investment in the new facility in Jining represents Eaton’s long-standing commitment to produce products for the region within the region. As China’s automotive market expands, we will continue to work with our local partners to provide leading technologies for our Chinese customers.”

China became the world’s top automaker and market in 2009 when sales reached 13.6m units and production totalled 13.8m, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Eaton began operations in China in 1993 through the manufacturing facility in Jining. Its business has grown significantly in the region through acquisitions, joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries over the past two decades. Today, Eaton in China has 27 operations with nearly 10,000 employees.