Pilkington Gears up in China

Pilkington is a leading automotive glass supplier in China, a market that has seen rapid growth in the past decade. In 1990 China was producing just 500,000 vehicles; today the figure is near 3.5 million, and it is expected to continue rising year on year.

Pat Zito, President of Pilkington Automotive worldwide, explains: "We are satisfied with the progress we have made in China. Our involvement in plants there has enabled us to pass on our considerable experience and ensure that they are able to meet domestic growth in demand and increasing international models. At the same time, we have been able
to understand better the Chinese culture, environment and market.

"We have invested over $20 million in plant and equipment to ensure that our plants meet the standards. It is now time to change up a gear in this exciting and dynamic marketplace.

"We want, step by step, to integrate our operations in China into our global business, which will see consistency in systems, processes, procedures and targets. This will ensure we retain our hard-won position as the leading supplier in China, and further strengthen our global capability to provide customers with the same high quality and reliability
from any plant around the world."

Pilkington first entered the Chinese market in the mid-1980s with its investment in Shanghai Yaohua Pilkington (SYP), building the country's first high quality float line. SYP has subsequently expanded and currently operates three float lines supplying high quality float to the automotive glass industry, amongst other customers.

Pilkington has also invested in four automotive glass businesses in key areas of China. Two of these companies are Pilkington subsidiaries, and two are associates. The largest of the associates is Shanghai Yaohua Pilkington Autoglass (SYPA), in the major automotive centre of Shanghai. Pilkington's other Chinese associate company is Wuhan Yaohua Pilkington Safety Glass (WYPSG) in Hubei Province in central China. Pilkington's Chinese automotive glazing subsidiaries are Changchun Pilkington Safety Glass (CPSG) in the north of the country and Guilin Pilkington
Safety Glass (GPSG) in Southwest China.

Pilkington has progressively invested in China over many years, developing its business in line with the market and is today as well placed as any glazing system supplier to participate in the fastest-growing automotive market in the world.

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