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Electronics Production | July 11, 2006

Autoliv starts Electronics R&D in Romania

Autoliv Inc. a specialist in automotive safety systems - has opened an engineering center in Romania that will do electronics development for European clients.
After opening its first electronics plant and tech center in Shangai a few weeks ago to serve the Asian market, Autoliv is pursuing investments in low cost countries for its electronics activities. A new engineering center is now established in Timisoara to serve the European market.

The new Romanian center will eventually employ over 100 persons - mainly software engineers - and will initially focus on design of safety electronics, mostly embedded software development and validation.

To reduce cost, Autoliv began, in 1999, to move production to low-cost countries. As a result, the company currently has 45% of its headcount in these countries compared to less than 10% when this program started.

"In 2004, we decided to supplement this program with a plan aimed at increasing component sourcing in low-cost countries to 50% before the end of this decade, from less than 15%. Moving engineering resources therefore represents the third leg in our low-cost country strategy," said Autoliv's President and CEO Lars Westerberg.

"During the last several years that we have been expanding in low-cost countries, we have been impressed by the people in these countries; their skills, educational level and com¬mitments. For this reason we are now taking advantage of these resources and will develop engineering jobs in addition to manufacturing in these low-cost countries. This reinforces our commitment to cost reductions and meeting our customers requirements in the very competitive automotive industry."

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