Knorr-Bremse Commercial Vehicle Systems, a German manufacturer of automotive components, has opened a new manufacturing plant in China to strengthen its share of the Chinese market for commercial vehicle braking systems.

The new facility, in Dalian in Liaoning province, covers an area of 40,000 square metres and has annual production capacity of 1m air compressors, 1m dampers and 700,000 disc brakes for trucks and buses. It significantly strengthened the company’s manufacturing base in China which is by far the world’s largest market for medium and heavy trucks.

The company opened its first plant in China 20 years ago, also in Dalian, producing commercial vehicle dampers.

Chairman Juergen Steinberger said: “We now have a complete product portfolio in China,” adding the company also had significant R&D operations in the country capable of developing and also “adapting” many products exclusively for China.

Steinberger said Chinese truck manufacturers were also expanding aggressively in overseas markets, particularly in southern Europe, Asia and Latin America, and suggested Knorr-Bremse’s reputation for quality and technology had helped them win export orders.

Steinberger said his company was also increasingly sourcing parts from China for its global operations, particularly for Europe and North America, adding “Chinese tier-one and tier-two manufacturers are really good – they have improved significantly over the last 20 years”.

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Xu Baoping, head of Hong Kong-based Knorr-Bremse Asia Pacific, said his company had introduced “many mature” technologies into China over the last two decades, helping the Chinese truck industry expand into overseas markets as well as helping manufacturers strengthen their domestic sales.