WUHAN, China, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- China Automotive Systems, Inc. ("CAAS" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: CAAS), a leading power steering components and systems supplier in China, today announced that its subsidiary, Jingzhou Henglong Automotive Parts Co., Ltd., has entered into a multi-year agreement to supply the SAIC-GM-Wuling ("SGMW") joint venture with its high-quality rack and pinion power steering systems.
China Automotive Systems has commenced shipments, and the steering units are intended to be primarily installed in SGMW's Wuling Hongguang brand, which is the best selling multi-purpose vehicle ("MPV") in China. Based on current order rates, total steering systems to be shipped by the Company to SGMW could approximate 350,000 units for the 2013 year. No other terms of the agreement were disclosed.
GM reported record sales at SGMW of over 1.4 million total vehicles in 2012, representing a 12.4% year-over-year sales volume increase. The SGMW joint venture was founded in 2002 and it consists of two Chinese domestic partners, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited and Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co Limited, and one foreign partner, General Motors ("GM China"). SGMW is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of minivans, pick-up trucks and MPVs as well as one of the important participants in passenger cars in China.
"As the dominant leader in steering products for the Chinese OEM local brands, this major contract win marks another key milestone in the execution of our strategy to diversify our customer base and penetrate into the Sino-foreign joint venture vehicle manufacturing segment. SGMC joins FAW Volkswagen and Dongfeng Peugot Citroen as our customers in this sector, which provides additional verification of our superior research and development program, stringent quality control and world-class production capability," commented Mr. Hanlin Chen, Chairman of China Automotive Systems."According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales of MPV vehicles climbed by 50% to over 300,000 units in the first quarter of 2013. We are capturing more market share in one of the fastest growing vehicle segments in China and we are pleased to be supporting SGMW's robust growth," Mr. Chen concluded. About China Automotive Systems, Inc. Based in Hubei Province, the People's Republic of China, China Automotive Systems, Inc. is a leading supplier of power steering components and systems to the Chinese automotive industry, operating through ten Sino-foreign joint ventures. The Company offers a full range of steering system parts for passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles. The Company currently offers four separate series of power steering with an annual production capacity of over 3.8 million sets of steering gears, columns and steering hoses. Its customer base is comprised of leading auto manufacturers, such as China FAW Group, Corp., Dongfeng Auto Group Co., Ltd., BYD Auto Company Limited, Beiqi Foton Motor Co., Ltd., and Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. in China and Chrysler North America. For more information, please visit: http://www.caasauto.com. Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains statements that are "forward-looking statements" as defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements represent the Company's estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. The Company's actual results may differ materially from the results described in or anticipated by these forward-looking statements due to certain risks and uncertainties, including those described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 27, 2013, and in documents subsequently filed by the Company from time to time. The Company expressly disclaims any duty to provide updates to any forward-looking statements made in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For more information, please contact: