Inergy Automotive Systems, a Solvay and Plastic Omnium joint venture and a world leader in plastic automotive fuel systems, is set to bolster its presence in the fast-growing automotive industry in Asia. The company is all set to build a new fuel systems production plant in Beijing, China, and one in Chennai, India. The Beijing factory will serve a production plant operated by Hyundai as from July 2010 and the Chennai factory will supply a car plant in the Bangalore region operated by a big Japanese car manufacturer. Last year, Inergy launched operations at its new production unit of Wuhan in the Hubei province of China which delivers fuel systems to production plants operated by Nissan and BMW. The Wuhan factory will as from the end of this year start delivering to a production plant operated by PSA. Inergy Automotive Systems also has plants in Korea, Japan and Thailand. More than 20% of its activities are located in this region.
In 2008, China became the largest automobile producer in the world with a market share of 17.2%, ahead of Germany with 14.7% and the United States with 14.6%. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers passenger-vehicles sales rose 7.3% to 6.76 million units in 2008 while sales of commercial vehicles rose 5.3% to 2.62 million units. It forecasts that total sales in 2009 will top 11 million units.