Italian automotive supplier Magneti Marelli started building a major research and development center and manufacturing plant for powertrain components on Thursday in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province.
Magneti Marelli China Powertrain in Hefei, a new company, has been established for the project, which will produce components for injection for gasoline direct injection (GDI) and multipoint injection (MPI) engines, as well as throttle body and intake manifold, according to the company.
Based in the Hefei State High-tech Industrial Development Zone, the project will see an investment of 1 billion yuan ($158 million) and cover an area of about 4.5 hectares. Construction of the project is expected to be finished by September, according to the development zone's administrators.
"The Hefei project will be our company's 13th plant in China and marks an important milestone in the development of powertrain systems in the country," said Sylvain Dubois, chief executive officer for Magneti Marelli China.
"Further opportunities will come for future development such as GDI injector and electrical components for new energy vehicles," he said.
For more than 99 years, Magneti Marelli has been developing and producing components and systems for the automotive industry across continents, from South and North America to Europe and Asia.
Magneti Marelli China started out 22 years ago with its electronic business in the south of China. It has now established 12 factories all over the country and employs more than 5,000 people, according to Dubois.
Before the new project, Magneti Marelli China has had four R&D centers and employed more than 600 engineers in the country.
"Hefei is not unknown to Magneti Marelli as we started a fruitful collaboration in 2012 with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC), setting up a joint venture to produce exhaust systems," said Dubois.
"Today JAC Magneti Marelli is a production center but also an R&D center for exhaust which employs 120 people," he said.