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July 12, 2004
    
Metal One to Participate in Steel Wheel Business in China
 
Ring Techs Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Kurashiki-shi, Okayama; President: Tomoyoshi Oguchi), a steel wheel manufacturer of Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. (headquartered in Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi; President & CEO: Hiroshi Shimozuma), and Metal One Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Masashi Mizutani) have agreed to set up a joint steel wheel manufacturing venture in China. The new company will build a factory in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, which will start production in early 2006.

The demand for automobiles (especially passenger cars) in China is expected to increase rapidly and the recently agreed joint venture is intended to meet the needs of Japanese-affiliated automakers whose production in China will accelerate and expand in the coming years.

The new company is the fourth business venture by the Sumitomo Metals Network to help meet Chinese needs in the manufacture of vehicles, following earlier ventures to manufacture forged crankshafts, steel pipes for automobiles and high-grade specialty steel.

Ring Techs set up a tripolar (Japanese, European and North, Central & South American) network for a global supply of steel wheels through a tie-up with Michelin of Europe (a French company manufacturing and marketing tires and wheels) and ArvinMeritor, Inc. (a U.S. company manufacturing and marketing components for automobiles) in February 2002. The three partners are working together to meet the global procurement needs of auto manufacturers by strengthening technical links between them.

Ring Techs will further solidify its business base as a steel wheel supplier through its newly established presence in China
 
Outline of Steel Wheel Manufacturing and Marketing Business in China
  1. Name of the company:   Guangzhou Ring Techs Co., Ltd. (tentative name)
  2. Plant location:   Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development
District (Yonghe Economic Zone), Guangdong Province, China
  3. Capitalization:   ¥1 billion
  4. Total investment:   Approx.¥1.6 billion
  5. Share allotment ratio:   Ring Techs Co., Ltd. -80%; Metal One Corporation -20%
  6. Production facilities:   Complete with equipment for rims, disks and painting line
  7. Products:   Steel wheels for passenger cars
  8. Production capacity:   Approx. 2.5 million units (per year)
  9. No. of employees:   Approx. 70
  10. Start of production:   Early 2006
 
<For supplementary reference>
Outline of Ring Techs Co., Ltd.'s steel wheel business
In Japan, the company produces 9 million passenger car wheels a year in Okayama, Ota-shi (Gunma) and Hiroshima.
 
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