Mahle’s new air intake and filtration system plant in Kyushu, Japan.
Mahle’s new air intake and filtration system plant in Kyushu, Japan.

 

This follows an increase in vehicle production in Asian countries and Asian vehicle manufacturers relocating their production, Mahle said. It forecasts that Chinese vehicle production will increase from today's level of about 20 million units (passenger cars and commercial vehicles) to 30 million units per year by 2017. As a result, Mahle is expanding its existing research and development center in Shanghai.
 
The location, which comprises central functions such as sales, purchasing, human resources, IT, and finance in addition to research and development, will be expanded by adding three new buildings, while nearly 9,000 m2 of additional lab and office space will be added to the existing 7,000 m2. Following the expansion, the research and development centre will have six boxes for complete engine test benches, in place of the two it has today. The number of employees can be increased from currently 230 to as many as 450. The official opening will take place on November 13, 2012.
 
Mahle has also begun to construct a new production plant for air intake and filtration systems the island of Kyushu, where the vehicle manufacturing market is on the increase. The plant will be near the production plants of Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and others. The production area will be 7,500 m2 in the first stage of construction. Completion is scheduled for this month, with production starting by the end of the year.
In Thailand, local vehicle demand is expected to grow from about 870,000 units today to more than one million units in 2017. In order to increase the company’s market share with Japanese manufacturers, Mahle is following the trend and is also expanding its two existing plants in Thailand.
 
Mahle Engine Components (Thailand) is enlarging its plant at the Bangkok location, which mainly produces pistons. Construction work on the new 45 by 90 m building should be completed later this month. The new building will house an assembly line as well as measurement and testing equipment. It will also provide space for future machining and coating lines.
 
In Samutprakarn, Mahle Siam Filter Systems is adding considerably to the existing location. The new buildings measuring 5,000 m2 will primarily house storage areas and offices. The previous areas that will be cleared will then have space for two new production lines for oil coolers and greater capacity for the production of air intake systems and valve covers.