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Make way for Mando in the components market

Korean automotive components maker Mando Corporation has thrown its hat into the ring to challenge Bosch and Delphi for OE and aftermarket supremacy. The company, which operates three plants and employs 3200 people in its home country, clocking up brake, steering, airbag and suspension system sales worth £0.63bn last year, is reported to be going all out for global growth.

Mando's sales forecast for 2002, based largely on Korean vehicle marque business but increasingly on supply to the automotive industry's Big Three - General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler - is 1161bn Won (£0.63bn). For a company declared bankrupt in 1998 after the Asia-Pacific economic bubble burst and previously dependent almost entirely on the fortunes of Hyundai and Kia, it's in a healthy position.

Now Korean press sources say Mando is planning a dramatic assault on the world original fit and replacement parts market, using its technology centres in Korea, the US and Europe as springboards for a new generation of electronic braking systems.

“We are setting our sights on growing into a global autoparts giant rivalling Bosch and Delphi,” president and CEO Oh Sang Soo is quoted a saying. “At this moment we are exerting all our efforts to develop new and advanced technologies to reach the high standard customers demand of us. Our price competitiveness is the best in the world. Though the quality of our parts is on par with Denso, our prices are more than 20 per cent lower.”

Oh says his company, founded in 1962 as Hyundai International and renamed Mando Machinery Corporation in 1980, takes pride in having been a principal in the development of Korea's auto parts industry - once one of the least developed - to one capable of vying on the world market.

“We believe that the more we develop our technology, the brighter the future and the larger the world market share our industry could attain,” he says. “We are doing our best to accomplish our social responsibility, our best to service customers and to improve the quality of life.”

The jewel in Mando's manufacturing crown is its Pyongtaek plant, near Seoul. This produces ABS, traction control, vehicle dynamics control and pressure depletion warning systems. It claims none of the 800,00 brake components supplied to GM last year were found to be defective. The company is due to open a new research and development centre in the Seoul region next month to concentrate on EBS with technical partners in the US and Europe.

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