ABB Global Robotics Business HQ Opens in Shanghai

Committed to helping China manufacturers improve quality and productivity

Shanghai, China, April 4, 2006 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced that its global Robotics Business headquarters officially begins operation today in Shanghai, ready to provide stronger support to rapid growth in the China manufacturing industry.

“China is becoming a major manufacturing base for the world,” said Fred Kindle, ABB Group Chief Executive Officer. “Increasing the level of automation with industrial robots is a key to improving China’s competitiveness.” Kindle said at a press conference that manufacturing has been a pillar in supporting China’s rapid economic growth in the recent decade, and that more and more Chinese companies are becoming manufacturing contractors for the world. Others are facing more demanding domestic consumers whose requirements for top quality products are approaching those of consumers in European and American countries. He noted that robots could offer them an effective way to raise quality and reduce cost in front of intense competition.

Kindle said the Robotics Division, one of five key ABB businesses, contributed $1.7 billion to the group’s total sales of $22.4 billion in 2005. In China, ABB has already established a strong presence in the robotics field with a wide range of activities including manufacturing, R&D, sales and service.

“I am pleased to see that the Chinese government has stressed the development of robotics in its 11th 5-year plan, “Kindle added. “By moving our Robotics Business decision making center to China, ABB is reinforcing its commitment to foresee and respond to these needs.” As a pioneer and leader in robotics, ABB was the first to bring the industrial robot into the world in 1974, and has a diversified product portfolio of robotic technologies and services while claiming the largest volume of installed robots with more than 140,000 units around the world. So far, ABB has sold more than 3,000 robots in China.

ABB Executive Vice President and head of Robotics Division Anders Jonsson said that ABB is proud to play an important role in modernization of the manufacturing industry, with its robots now widely used in applications including material handling, picking, packing, palletizing, welding, painting, gluing, sealing, and assembling in various industries such as automotive, electronics, consumer products, foundry, foods, and more.

“The Automotive industry still remains the largest consumer of robots today,” said Jonsson. “While many of our clients in China are still international companies such as GM, Honda, and VW, we are forming more and more partnerships with Chinese enterprises as they realize that the key to keep winning in the future is solid competitive strength.”

In China, ABB has the largest market share among international robot suppliers. Its current production capacity in China is more than 1,000 units annually, operating from its modern headquarters in Shanghai’s Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone. “We plan to continue expanding our activities in China,” added Jonsson. “Supported by the efforts of our local competence centers, we will develop and produce quality ABB products both for local consumption and export markets.”

ABB is known in China as an “early bird,” being among the first Western companies to start doing business with China, establishing an investment holding company in Beijing in 1995, moving a global business headquarters to China, and participating in China’s key projects. Significant ABB projects include the Three Gorges power plant and power transmission and distribution projects (since 1997), South to North Water Diversion project (early 2006), and various Olympic projects in Beijing (from 2004).

In 2005, China became ABB’s No. 2 market in the world, surpassing Germany and second only to the United States. ABB aims to turn China into its No 1 market by 2008.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 104,000 people worldwide. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and service, with about 8,500 employees, 25 joint ventures and wholly owned companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 30 cities. Visit ABB in China at www.abb.com.cn.

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