Chinese-Czech rolling stock partnership
State-run China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation (CRSC) has signed a contract to acquire a 51% stake in Czech tram manufacturer Inekon Group.
Josef Husek, the firm’s founder, told local newspaper Mlada fronta DNES that the Chinese rail market is experiencing a phase of rapid expansion, and the latest deal will allow Inekon Group to be a part of it.
CRSC has annual revenues in the range of €50 billion and is posting significant profits, which makes it an attracitve partner for the tram maker, according to Husek. In addition to this, the Czech firm aims to capitalise on CRSC’s history of good relations with Chinese state and regional authorities, Husek said.
The amount of the contract, which is to be finalised by the end of this year, was not disclosed by the two firms.
As part of the partnership, Inekon owns a 17% stake in a tram factory in Changsga, located in China’s province of Hunan. The Czech manufacturer has developed a prototype of a new tram which is to be produced at the plant with the use of components made in China and the Czech Republic. Under the plan, Inekon’s Czech plant will supply electronic systems, doors and air conditioning which will be installed in the rolling stock.
With the Chinese rolling stock market in mind, the plant is expected to produce about 500 units of the new tram per year, according to the information obtained by the Czech daily.
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