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Valeo acquires Chinese automotive lighting concern

As part of its development strategy in high-growth countries, and particularly China, Tier I Valeo (Paris) has acquired an 80% shareholding in the Chinese automotive lighting specialist Ruby from Chery Technology, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Chery Automobile (Wuhu, China). Chery Technology will retain a 20% stake in the company.

Also located at Wuhu in Anhui province, the joint venture, which will be renamed Wuhu Valeo Automotive Lighting Systems, will design, manufacture and sell Valeo Lighting Systems products, mainly for Chery Automobile on the Chinese market.

"This operation is in line with Valeo's growth strategy in China and Asia, which represented 25% of our original equipment sales in the third quarter of 2011 thanks to the acquisition of Niles, and should reach over 30% by 2015, in line with the objectives presented in March 2011," stated Valeo CEO Jacques Aschenbroich. The business will be integrated within the Group's Visibility Systems Business Group.

The Chinese automaker Chery Automobile, created in 1997, is based at Wuhu in Anhui province. With 2011 annual production estimated at nearly 700,000 vehicles, Chery Automobile has become one of China's leading automakers.

Valeo acquired Niles (Tokyo) in February 2011 from investment firm RHJ International SA (Brussels, Belgium) and Nissan in order to reinforce its Comfort and Driving Assistance Systems Business Group. Niles manufactures steering column switches, door switches, switches for interior trim systems, and power train and pedal switches.

With the Niles acquisition, Valeo strengthened its position in Asia (Japan, China, Thailand) and with Japanese automakers, particularly Nissan. The Group thus became the world leader in the automotive Human-Machine Interface market.-[email protected]

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