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TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (TRW - Analyst Report) announced the launch of first electrically powered steering (EPS) belt drive system in China. The fuel-saving and emission-reducing technology will be produced in the Anting facility.

TRW Automotive had been installing equipment in the Anting facility over the last 18 months to produce this technology. With an annual capacity expectation of 400,000 units by 2014, the regional production unit will provide a cost effective solution to the customers. In addition, it will support the company to serve customers in Asia as well.

The EPS solution comes in two variants; one is the column drive unit that is mounted on the steering column and the other is the belt drive, in which the assist power is directly applied to the rack. These technologies save fuel by 0.3 to 0.4 L/100km and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7-8g/km.

TRW Automotive has already introduced the column drive both in China and international market, and the company is now focusing on belt drive. The company is also increasing local production capabilities for other advanced technologies including airbag inflators, electric park brake and electronic stability control.  With all these initiatives, TRW plans to create the infrastructure to fulfill the market demand both in domestic and global platforms.

TRW Automotive is a leading manufacturer of advanced technology products and services for the automotive market. Headquartered in Mich., the company operates in 27 countries through its subsidiaries.

These operations primarily involve the design, manufacture and sale of active and passive safety related products. Currently, the company retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

The company’s major customers include Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report), General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report) and Volkswagen AG (VLKAY). They account for nearly 50% of its sales.

TRW posted earnings of $1.51 per share in the first quarter of 2013, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.46. However, earnings fell 6.8% from $1.62 per share in the first quarter of 2012 due to lower operating income on the back of a higher mix of lower margin business and planned increases in costs to support future growth.

Revenues in the quarter were almost flat at $4.2 billion as the impact of increasing demand for TRW’s innovative technologies and higher vehicle production volumes in China were offset by significantly lower vehicle production in Europe.

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