Magneti Marelli and Changchun Fudi Equipment Technology Development (Fudi), a Chinese investment company active in the automotive components industry, have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture aimed at the production and sale of automotive lighting systems.

Magneti Marelli and Fudi are already partners in a JV, which has been manufacturing powertrain components since 2012.

According to the agreement, Automotive Lighting Reutlingen will own 60% of the share capital of the new company, Changchun Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting System, while Fudi will hold the remaining 40%.

The industrial facilities of the JV will be located in the Xin Xing Industrial Park of the Economic and Technological Development Zone of Changchun, Jilin Province and will be aimed at supplying carmakers in the North-East of China.

Magnetti maintains the JV completes the footprint of Automotive Lighting in China, covering the region North of the Yellow river, which is a key for the automotive sector in the country, where both leading Chinese automotive companies and international carmakers have located their plants.

In particular, German premium Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have a presence in the area.  

The business scope of the JV will be to produce automotive lighting systems (headlamps and rear lamps) based on halogen, xenon and high-end LED technologies.

The plant will be set up within the first quarter of 2016, while production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017.

Built over a  land area of  48,000 square meters, the plant with a total surface of 23,300 square metres will employ a workforce of around 800 employees at peak volume.

"The new JV with Fudi [is] aimed to be in the northern part of the country – said Automotive Lighting CEO, Ermanno. "It allows Automotive Lighting to have the 'ideal' footprint in a key country for automotive like China, covering all the strategic areas in which the most important carmakers are located with their facilities.

"In fact our objective is being logistically and technically near them, in order to support their business growth in the best way possible."

For his part, Sylvain Dubois, country manager of Magneti Marelli China, added: "This new factory in Changchun represents our fourth lighting plant in the country and  marks an important milestone in the expansion of Automotive Lighting in China.

"This will allow us to support in a better way our customers located in this region".

Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting's presence in the Chinese market started in 2005 with the opening of the first 100%-owned plant in Wuhu.

To follow Chinese automotive growth, two more plants were inaugurated: in February 2012 the second wholly-owned plant in  Foshan (South China), and in May, 2013, the new plant in Xiaogan resulting from the JV with China South Industries.

Automotive Lighting Headquarters and the Research Centre in China are based in Shanghai.