CHONGQING – Italian filter supplier UFI Group on August 3 announced it will open its first manufacturing plant in western China.
Located in Liangjiang New District in Chongqing, the new facility will see UFI invest over ¥106 million in the region. The plant, which is due to commence operation at the second quarter of 2018, will produce diesel filters, diesel pre-filters for heavy-duty manufacturers and air-intake systems for passenger vehicles in Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan and for export to Europe.
The expansion of the UFI Group’s operation into western China also expresses the UFI Group’s support to the government’s development policy, which is on course to be met by 2020, through the provision of 200 jobs in the region and new center to better serve the export market.
“We continue to see strong growth potential within the Chinese market and the potential for overseas expansion too,” said Luca Biagini, UFI Group Asia-Pacific COO. “The region (Chongqing) is set to become an important vehicle manufacturing center in China as well as being an important logistics base and distribution center in the western region. In addition, having the plant in Chongqing will not only mean we can better serve our customers in Western China and Europe, but also support the government’s OBOR initiative which will see Chongqing as a major hub in years to come.”
Chongqing is an important location for automotive suppliers. The planned vehicle production capacity from Liangjiang New District is expected to reach 3.5 million units by 2020, which will account for 70 percent of Chongqing’s planned 4.7 million vehicle output capacity. Thus, having a facility in this region will further support UFI Group’s expansion and growth in China.
Entering China in 1996, UFI Group set up Sofima Automotive Filter (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. in Qingpu, Shanghai to meet the growing demands for filter products in the Chinese market. Since then the company has established three more plants in China, respectively Sofima Automotive Filter (Changchun), UFI Filters (Shanghai), SOFIMA Industrial Filters (Shanghai), one R&D Center, more than 2,200 staff, and produces about 154,000 filters in China every day. Every month, around 100 containers are transported to overseas markets such as Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. UFI Group, with its two brands UFI and Sofima, are now represented in 12 countries, 4 continents and employ over 4,000 employees in more than 20 front offices. In 2016, the group produced 68 million filters across their 14 production sites creating turnover of €415 million, maintaining UFI’s 12 percent sales growth which it has achieved since 2009.