China Automotive Systems, a power steering components and systems supplier with seven joint ventures in China boosted operating income for the first quarter of 2007 increased to $US5.2m, up 98% year-on-year growth.

Net income was up 50% to $1.6m. Net sales increased 35% to US$28.4m. Diluted earnings per share was up 40% to US$0.07.

“After reporting strong sales growth in 2006, we are extremely pleased that we have commenced 2007 with another record high in quarterly sales. As a result of quality improvements and technological advances, Chinese home grown auto makers posted strong performances in the passenger vehicle market,” said Hanlin Chen, chairman and chief executive officer of China Automotive Systems.

“In addition, two of our key customers, Chery and Geely Auto, moved into the top five auto sellers by China Association of Auto Manufacturers during the first quarter. Chery’s recent agreement with Chrysler to distribute Chery’s economy car in North America and Europe clearly represents a substantial opportunity for fuel efficient and environmental friendly Chinese cars in the global marketplace. Our joint venture with Chery Auto and new facility is expected to come on line early in the third quarter.”