Sumitomo Electric Industries of Japan intends to increase production of wire harnesses
in other Asian countries so that about 40% of Japanese sales are sourced from
outside the country by the end of 2001, AutoAsia Online reported.

The website says that Sumitomo is planning to increase volume by 50% at its
Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai subsidiaries with smaller but still substantial
expansion planned for factories in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Sumitomo Electric Japan currently buys Y60 billion ($US488 million) worth of
harnesses from other Asian nations, a figure projected to rise to Y70 billion
by the end of 2002, AutoAsia Online said.

The website added that vehicle wire harness production is very labour-intensive
activity and that Sumitomo is also transferring European production from the
UK to Hungary and Poland because labour is cheaper.

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