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08/28/2003 - Rieter Automotive Systems with strategic partnership in China

Rieter in joint venture with Nittoku for the production of automotive components in China

The Rieter Group is establishing a joint venture in South China to supply components and systems for acoustic comfort to Japanese automotive manufacturers located in the People’s Republic of China. The JV partners are the Japanese Nihon Tokushu Toryo Co., Ltd. (Nittoku) and the Taiwanese Chu Chang Rubber Co. which hold together 49% of the share.

The new joint venture company in China, called Rieter NITTOKU (Guangzhou) Automotive Sound-Proof Co., Ltd. will be based in Huadu in the province of Guangdong in Southern China and will start operation in February 2004. In the start-up phase the company will employ some 80 people. The plant will supply Japanese manufacturers in China with the same high-quality components as in Japan, including the innovative weight-saving Rieter Ultra Light soundpackages. The Chinese automotive market, the fastest growing market worldwide, has spurred the interest of all major automotive manufacturers including the Japanese.

Rieter will hold a 51% share in the new JV, whereas Nittoku’s share will be 44%. Rieter’s strategy is to support its customers globally, be that with own production sites or with licencee or joint venture partners. The cooperation between Rieter and Nittoku began in 1967 with a license agreement to manufacture Rieter’s noise protection components in Japan. The Kita-ku (Tokyo) based Nihon Tokushu Toryo is active in the areas of automotive supply (damping materials and sound-absorbing and insulating components) and paints and coatings. The Tokyo stock market-listed company has some 600 employees and total annual sales of some 363 million CHF. The second JV partner, Chu Chang Rubber Co., will hold 5% of the shares. It is a small Taiwan based company producing mainly damping sheets, plastic welts and molded rubber goods in Taiwan as well as in China.

Erwin Stoller, CEO of Rieter Automotive Systems said: “We have been working with Nittoku successfully for 36 years and we have formed two other joint ventures in this period, namely UGN in the USA to supply the Japanese manufacturers in North America and an acoustic laboratoy in Japan.” Nittoku president Manabu Shibata confirmed: “We are looking forward to establishing supply bases for acoustic parts in an important new market China on the basis of a successful partnership which Nittoku and Rieter have cultivated for years.“

The Rieter Group operates internationally, developing and producing sophisticated systems solutions for the automotive and textile industries. In the 2002 financial year Rieter generated sales of 2 976 million CHF with 12 983 employees worldwide. The Textile Systems Division accounted for 1 108 million CHF and the Automotive Systems Division for 1 848 million CHF of this total.

Contact for the media:

Peter Grädel
Corporate Communications
T +41 52 208 70 12
F +41 52 208 72 73

Contact for financial analysts:

Hans Rudolf Widmer
T +41 52 208 81 78


Japanese inquiries:

Mr. Hirokazu Kawana
Nittoku, General Manager

China Business Dept.

T +81 3 3913 6131

F +81 3 3914 1082