Tony Gilroy, chief operating officer of Lucas Varity PLC, a leading international auto parts manufacturer, said Sept. 19 that the firm will emphasize the Asia-Pacific market, especially India and China, in its global strategy.

“These two countries will become huge markets in the future. We’ve got seven joint ventures in China and three in India. We believe we are in a good position to take advantage of them,” Gilroy said.

As part of its strategy to increase its presence in Asia, Gilroy said the London-based firm recently reached an agreement to provide Proton, a leading automaker in Malaysia, with brake systems, and concluded a joint venture accord to produce diesel engines in China. Through joint ventures and acquisitions, Gilroy hopes to increase the firm’s total sales in the Asia-Pacific region from $450 million a year at present to $45 billion by 2005, with a particular focus on China and India.

Gilroy also said that environmental awareness in the auto parts industry will grow in the future, predicting that sales of diesel engines will expand in North America and that electric-power-assisted steering will replace prevailing hydro systems. The firm is listed as one of top 10 automotive suppliers in the world market after it was created last year through the merger of Lucas Industries of Great Britain and Varity Corp. of the United States.

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