The Korea Herald reports that Mando Corporation, Korea’s largest automotive components maker, has said that it will invest a total of $US110 million in China by 2007. The investment by Mando is being seen as a key part of its bid to strengthen its global management.

“The Chinese auto market is expected to outgrow the U.S. market in the near future. From that perspective, Mando will heavily invest in China, setting up 10 or more joint venture and wholly owned auto parts makers in the country by 2004,” said Oh Sang-soo, president and CEO of Mando, in a press conference in remarks reported by the Korea Herald.

“In the second phase, we will establish a regional holding company, tentatively named Mando China, which will oversee the 10-odd manufacturing bases in China,” Oh added, according to the report.

The report added that in 2003, Mando will open a new R&D centre in China with a staff of 50. The company’s long-term blueprint calls for its China sales to rise to $250 million by 2006 and $310 million by 2007.

Oh Sang-soo said earlier this year: “We are setting our sights on growing into a global auto-parts giant rivalling Bosch and Delphi.”

In comments reported by the Korea Herald at that time, he added: “Our price competitiveness is the best in the world. Though the quality of our parts is on a par with Denso, a supplier for Toyota Motor, our prices are more than 20 percent lower.”