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Auto suppliers Yanfeng, Woodbridge form JV in China

Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd. has formed a joint venture in China with the Woodbridge Group, a urethane and particle foam manufacturer based in Mississauga.

The joint venture Yanfeng Woodbridge Lightweight Composites Co. Ltd., which was announced Dec. 24, will primarily focus on the production of expanded polypropylene and other bead foam products for automotive applications such as seat structures, luggage compartments, steering wheels, door panels, bumpers and other energy-absorbing components.The first manufacturing facility for the joint venture will be located in Changzhou, China. Production will start sometime this year and will serve automakers and automotive suppliers, according to a news release.

"We are thrilled about this new partnership with Yanfeng to support our valued customers in this growing market. The key strengths of both organizations complement one another and allow for further innovations in lightweight advanced materials to the region," Charles Daly, CEO and president of Woodbridge, said in a statement.

Woodbridge Group supplies seat cushioning, seat frame components, interior soft trim, composite sheet foam products and various engineered technical foams for applications in the automotive, packaging, health care and building industries.Yanfeng's Wang Weizhong, deputy general manager, said the collaboration will promote the application of lightweight materials in the automotive industry, especially for the Chinese market.

"Meanwhile, we will enhance the vertical integration of our business through this opportunity," he said in a statement.

Yanfeng has corporate headquarters in Shanghai. The company manufactures a wide variety of plastic components used in vehicle interiors, seating, electronics, safety and exterior applications such as instrument panels, consoles, bumpers and instrument clusters.

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