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Siemens and Yaskawa expand their drives joint venture into LV controls

01 September, 2000

Siemens and Yaskawa are enlarging their Japanese drives and automation joint venture, less than a year after it was established last October. The partners have agreed to expand the business to include low-voltage control and distribution and will transfer their existing Japanese-based LV operations to the 50:50 joint venture, Yaskawa Siemens Automation & Drives (YSAD).

Siemens hopes that the move will boost its LV sales in Japan, the world`s second-largest national market for LV control products. Globally, Siemens is already the world`s second-largest supplier of LV controls with sales of around £900m, but most of this business is in Europe.

Under the new deal, Yaskawa will transfer its limit and magnet switch operation to the JV, while Siemens will contribute the LV control and distribution business of its Siemens Kabushiki Kaisha (SKK) subsidiary. The products covered include circuit breakers, limit and pushbutton switches, sensors, filters and AS-i bus devices.

YSAD`s new LC control and distribution division, which starts trading on 21 September, will employ 90 people. Its sales are expected to amount to around £19m next year, and to double within five years. Before the latest deal, YSAD was already employing 320 people and its sales this year are forecast to be some £155m.

"Thanks to the excellent co-operation with Yaskawa, our joint venture is making very good progress," reports Dr Klaus Wucherer, president of Siemens` automation and drives group. "I am particularly pleased to be able to report that we have been able to expand our joint activities after less than one year."

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