Seating and electronics supplier Lear Corp., in a sign of its continued growth in Asia, plans to build a new headquarters for its Asia-Pacific operations in the Yangpu District of Shanghai.
The complex will be built near Lear's current headquarters, also in the Yangpu District, the company said June 8. The company expects the new headquarters to be completed between late 2018 and early 2019. The cost of the project was not disclosed.
There are about 31,000 Lear employees in Asia and 64 manufacturing plants. The new building will house 800 Shanghai employees. Some expansions include administrative office and equipment-testing space, as well as a new product and technology center and innovation studio. The multistory building will be about 301,000 square feet.
Lear CEO Matt Simoncini said in the statement that the Asia-Pacific region is currently “the most strategically important” in the auto industry. The Shanghai expansion, more specifically, is necessary with China being Lear's fastest-growing market, he added
“Over the past three years, Lear's sales in China have grown at an average annual rate of 10 percent. Our new regional headquarters complex in Shanghai will support industry-leading product development, testing and customer service in one convenient location,” Simoncini said.
Lear is based near Detroit in Southfield, Mich. The company supplies automotive seating and electrical distribution systems to major automakers, such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and BMW AG. Lear employs 136,000 employees worldwide and about 10,000 in the U.S. and Canada.
In 2015, the company's total sales in Asia were $5.2 billion, including $2 billion generated from its 17 unconsolidated joint ventures in the region. That was a $300 million increase from the company's $4.9 billion total sales there in 2014.