Asahi Glass Purchases Automotive Safety Glass Business in China

Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. recently announced plans to significantly expand its automotive safety glass business in China through a minority buy-out of its existing joint venture in China - Qinhuangdao Haiyan Safety Glass (QHSG), and the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility in Qinhuangdao Economic & Technological Development Zone (QETD Zone), Hebei Province, China.The economy in China has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 8 percent since 1992, which is likely to be accelerated following its WTO entry in 2002.

The rapid economic growth has led to a booming domestic automotive market, which registered an annual growth rate of 38.5 percent and reached total annual production output of 3.25 million units in 2002. The forecast for 2003 output exceeds 4 million units, which will place the country at the fourth largest automotive production countries in the world after the USA, Japan, and Germany. Continued government investment in highway infrastructures and rising individual household income will continue to be the main drivers behind the growth of passenger car market in China. China's large market size coupled with rapid growth has made it a top priority for all global OEMs, many of whom have announced plans to introduce a variety of new models to the Chinese market in the coming years.

600450 Asahi Glass Purchases Automotive Safety Glass Business in China

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