Antonov to Supply Transmission to Chinese Clients From France

08 April 2009

British technology company Antonov will produce its TX6 six-speed automatic transmission in France mainly to supply the China market from 2011, after its plan to make the transmission with a local partner in southwest China was halted.

 

But Antonov's China CEO Kang Yun says his company still wants to establish a joint venture in China to produce the transmission locally.

 

"The production in France will be carried out in an automatic transmission plant of Ford Motor Company that is called Ford Aquitaine Industrie (FAI), in Blanquefort, near Bordeaux," Kang says.

 

Ford is now selling FAI, but Antonov will establish a partnership with the plant's new owner to rent some production facilities there to produce the TX6 transmission, says Kang.

 

He adds the production volume in France will not be large, and the products are mainly for supplying customers in China.

 

In late 2008, Antonov announced domestic Chinese automaker Lifan Motors would install the TX6 transmissions in its mid-sized sedans from late 2010.

 

Kang says he is now talking to at least two other Chinese automakers interested in the transmission, but he declines to name the two potential clients.

 

Kang adds Antonov is now looking for a Chinese partner to establish a joint venture plant in China to produce the transmission. He says his company hopes the production in China can start in 2012.

 

He says production in France will gradually be transferred to China once the China-based joint venture is set up.

 

Antonov had expected to build the transmission with Chongqing Loncin Holdings, a leading Chinese motorcycle and small gasoline engine manufacturer.

 

In 2007, the two companies signed an agreement for a pilot project to build prototype vehicles equipped with Antonov's TX6 transmissions for test drives in China.

 

They also discussed a plan to form a 50-50 joint venture in the southwest China city of Chongqing to build the transmission. Antonov originally hoped the joint venture could be set up in 2008.

 

But after the pilot project was completed, Loncin appears to have no interest in forming a joint venture with Antonov.

 

According to Kang, the two companies have disagreements on how to establish the supply base and to market the transmission after completing a series of market surveys in China.

 

Also, Antonov had planned to produce the transmission with Geely Automobile Co. in early 2009, but the two sides terminated the cooperation project in late 2007.

 

Source : internet

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