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"China will be one of our principal growth markets for the balance of the decade and beyond," said Jake Hirsch, chairman, president, and CEO of Textron Fastening Systems. "Opening the Wuxi plant is a key step in a long-term strategy to expand value-added fastening systems and services to the country's high technology industries, particularly the electronics and telecommunications sectors. In addition to export sales, the plant will provide regional support to global customers operating in China."
The new 3,900 square-meter facility will initially employ about 55 people, producing 60 million to 80 million fasteners per month, principally for Chinese domestic consumption. As the first Textron Fastening Systems production facility in China, it also will provide design, engineering, assembly technology, and logistics management services to customers in the country.
Textron began manufacturing in China in 1996 when its Kautex unit established a joint venture in Changchun to produce plastic fuel systems for the automotive industry. Kautex also has an assembly facility in Shanghai. In 1998, Textron established an office in Shanghai to serve as a resource in the region for the entire corporation. Currently, six Textron business units have sales and service staff based in Shanghai, and several others units serve customers throughout the country. In addition, as part of an on-going global sourcing effort, Textron is seeking to grow its percentage of parts and components that are produced in China. The sourcing effort also includes operations in Eastern Europe and South America.
"Strategically, it is becoming easier and more advantageous to do business in China. Many of our customers have located business there and it is important for us to be near them; the economy continues to grow; and the environment is increasingly pro-business," said Mary Howell, Textron executive vice president. "We believe the timing is right to increase Textron's investment in China through new manufacturing facilities, increased sales and service efforts, and the sourcing of parts and components," she added.
Textron Inc. is an $11 billion multi-industry company with 49,000 employees in 40 countries. The company leverages its global network of businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services in industries such as aircraft, fastening systems, industrial products and components and finance. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at www.textron.com.