Austrian-based Steyr Motors GmbH agreed to sell 100 percent of its shares to a Chinese investment group under the condition that existing facilities in Austria will remain the worldwide production hub where engines designed for European and North American markets will be built.
Steyr Motors and subsidiaries Steyr Motors Liegenschaften GmbH and Steyr Motors North America are being sold to Phoenix Tree HSC Investment (Wuhan) Co. Ltd., a Hong Kong-based financial investor seeking to leverage European technology and Chinese “cost and market potentials,” according to the company.
“To be able to stay competitive we need new, potential distribution channels and markets providing fast and sustainable growth,” major Steyr shareholder Rudolf Streicher said in a statement. “We are looking forward to become part of the next league of engine manufacturers and to the further development of the location in Steyr to a global engineering center.”
Phoenix Tree is investing in European as well as Chinese companies to strengthen the benefit of European innovation, research and development competencies and access to Western markets while adding Chinese advantages such as high market potential and low production costs.
Phoenix Tree plans to expand opportunities in the Chinese marine segment in which Steyr was already active and said the production base for customized high-power engine applications built for the European and North American markets will remain in Austria.
“The highly increasing demand for diesel engines in China can currently not be covered by Chinese engine manufacturers,” Stefan Hasper, CEO of GCI Management Consulting GmbH in Munich, said in a statement.
GCI Management is a consulting company that worked with Steyr and PTI on the deal.
“Steyr Motors develops engines at the highest technical level, but was so far mainly able to produce its engine range in small series,” Hasper added. “Through the partnership with the Chinese investor PTC the company now gets a direct market access to the Chinese market as well as modern local production sites for volume production.”
Production sites in Steyr, Austria, will be expanded to become the worldwide engineering center for the new group, with a focus on the development of new diesel engines for applications that include the marine industry. PTC and Steyr have agreed to the purchase of additional areas next to the existing production site in Steyr. Jobs will be added there in engine and injection development, project management and strategic purchasing.
To protect the experience and knowledge base of Steyr engineers, a location guarantee for the site in Steyr was an essential part of the purchase contract, further strengthened by the necessity that all management members continue in their respective areas. Another vital goal is the implementation of high Austrian quality standards and safety requirements at production sites in China.
“This opportunity originates from the mass markets of diesel engines, the vast low-cost manufacturing capacities and the abundant capitals in China,” Xiaojiang Liu, a member of PTC’s board, said in a statement.