The sale of Nexteer Automotive by General Motors to Pacific Century Motors (PCM) of China has completed. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but estimates of USD450m mean that it represents China’s biggest single investment in the global automotive components industry.

The deal is the final step in Nexteer’s efforts to establish itself as the only global independent Tier One focused on advanced steering and driveline technology. Michigan-based Nexteer, once called Saginaw Steering Gear, was formerly a part of Delphi. GM took back the steering unit from Delphi last year under a plan to support Delphi's bankruptcy reorganisation.

PCM will provide financial support and investment for Nexteer’s expansion around the world. The company is continuing to build its position as a specialist provider of electric power steering (EPS) systems, supplying many of the industry’s most successful applications including benchmark vehicles such as the Fiat 500 Abarth, the Citroën DS3 and the Ford F-150.
Robert J Remenar will continue as president and CEO of the company: “This sale was an important move for us to strengthen and grow a diverse, global customer base, building on our current growth trajectory,” said Remenar. “With a well-capitalised new owner committed to growing the business, Nexteer can focus all its resources on its industry-leading engineering, process and product development.”
Saginaw, Michigan will remain Nexteer’s worldwide headquarters and the key centre for its engineering, research and development. The company’s global network of 22 manufacturing facilities, six engineering facilities and 14 customer support centres in North and South America, Europe and Asia will continue to support its 60+ customers around the world.
PCM chairman Zhao Guangyi said: “We are committed to building on Nexteer’s success. PCM will provide access to continued capital investment that will allow Nexteer to continue its global growth in technology and manufacturing, particularly in China.”
PCM’s major investor is Beijing E-Town International Investment & Development, a state-owned enterprise that is part of the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area. Serving as the financing and investing arm of the Beijing Municipal Government, E-Town plays an active role in funding investments of strategic importance with high levels of technology.

Nexteer customers include GM, Fiat, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and PSA plus automakers in India, China and South America. Sales to GM account for almost half of the tally - global revenues topped USD2bn in 2008.

See also: Q&A with Nexteer