American water heater manufacturer A.O. Smith Corporation has put its new environmentally-friendly home appliances factory into operation in China, in its latest effort to increase its presence in the rapidly-growing market.
After a two-year construction period, the first stage of the project has started operating in an economic zone in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province. It has a total floor area of 65,000 square meters, including office buildings, workshops, and water treatment labs.
Products such as water cleaners and softeners, and air purifiers will soon come off the assembly lines, and the annual output is expected to reach 3 million units.
With total investment of around 150 million U.S. dollars, the project will ultimately expand by 200 percent in floor area and created thousands of jobs for local workers.
"The opening of our newest plant underscores our commitment to the water treatment industry," Kevin Wheeler, president and chief operating officer of A.O. Smith, said, predicting the project will showcase cooperation with partners in China and other parts of the world.
The opening of the new factory also marks the 20th anniversary of A.O. Smith's presence in the Chinese market. Thanks to a rising consumer market, the company has witnessed average sales growth of more than 20 percent each year.