The plant is operated by the joint company called SAIC Magneti Marelli Powertrain (SMMP) and will be in charge of manufacturing hydraulic components for the Freechoice automated manual transmission (AMT).
“By inaugurating this new plant we are quickly turning the JV agreement signed a year ago into a reality, and we celebrate our union with a top excellence company like SAIC," Eugenio Razelli, Magneti Marelli’s CEO said at the opening.
"This union translates into an industrial initiative aimed at satisfying, on site, the growing demand for a solution – the AMT Freechoice - which very effectively meets the challenges associated with environmental sustainability and affordable mobility."
"This way, a technology born and bred in Italy and in Europe is applied and finds further success in an extremely interesting and constantly growing market such as China, which in the near future will be setting important trends for the automotive world."
Freechoice is an electro-hydraulic automation mechanism of the manual transmission, designed to reduced fuel consumption and emissions. According to Marelli, it can be converted to fit all types of gearboxes, having been already implemented by 16 carmakers for 75 vehicles.
The decision to build a special facility to handle Freechoice has been made as estimates from Global Insight are the use of AMTs will reach a 33 percent market share by 2015.