Toyota unit buys Chinese supplier

Kyodo

Taiho Kogyo Co., an automobile bearings maker belonging to the Toyota Motor Corp. group, said Wednesday it has bought a Chinese bearings maker in Shandong Province for about 900 million yen.

Yantai Chunsang Sliding Bearing Co. is a major local engine bearing manufacturer that expects to post about 800 million yen worth of sales for the current business year to Dec. 31.

It has achieved sales growth of some 50 percent in the past several years, backed by strong demand for trucks and construction machines amid the ongoing construction boom in China, Taiho Kogyo said.

The company was formerly held by a local electric power company and a Hong Kong concern.

Taiho Kogyo, headquartered in Aichi Prefecture, plans to introduce advanced bearing manufacturing facilities to the Chinese firm in early 2003 and to supply products for Japanese, U.S. and European carmakers operating in China, the company added.

A Toyota-affiliated automaker in Tianjin has already expressed interest in procuring the products, it said.