April 6, 2004Management

Establish New Float Furnace for Automotive Glass in China

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo; President: Masahiro Kadomatsu ) has decided to establish new float furnace for automotive glass. The Company plans to spend less than US$100 million to establish a new firm in Suzhou, Jingsu Province, China. The new company is to be set up in May 2004, to begin production in 2 nd quarter of 2006.

Auto production in China was posting 4.44 million units in 2003, up 36.6% from the previous year. As a result, the nation places fourth in the output of vehicles after the USA, Japan and Germany. It is predicted that the Chinese manufacture of automobiles will continue to rise sharply, and in 2010 the country should rise to second place in automobile output following the USA. This scenario will likely contribute to continued growth in the Chinese demand for automotive glass, including after market use. Furthermore, quality requirements for automotive glass is getting severe, followed by Japanese, European and American auto manufacturer's aggressive investments, who are sensitive for the product quality.

On the other hand, demand of glass for use in construction and automobiles is therefore projected to grow at a steady pace in the Asian region, and Asahi Glass group companies will likely see demand for raw glass continually exceed supply. Moreover, one float furnace for automotive glass at the Aichi Factory will be converted to PDP glass substrates in May 2004. Under such circumstances, the Company has decided to boost the output of raw glass for automotive use and set up a new Chinese firm to construct a green filed float glass furnace. The outline of the new company is as follows:

Company name AGC Flat Glass (Suzhou) Company LTD.
Location Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
Capital S$40 million (about 4.2 billion yen)
Shareholder Asahi Glass Company, Ltd. (100%)
Establishment May 2004 (scheduled)
  Start of construction: October 2004 (scheduled)
  Start of production 2 nd quarter of 2006 (scheduled)
  Production capacity 700 tons per day

As the Asahi Glass group's second Chinese unit equipped with a float glass furnace, main product of the new company will be raw glass for automotive use. Product will be sold to AGC Automotive Qinhuangdao Co., Ltd. ( Qinhuangdao , Hebei Province), Asahi Glass' processing base for automotive glass, and other Chinese firms engaged in processing automotive glass, as well as exported to Japan. Sales at the new company are forecasted to reach US$52 million by 2010, and total invest amount will be less than US$100 million.

Presently, the Asahi Glass group operates a total of 12 float furnaces for soda lime glass in Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, which produce glass used in various fields such as construction and automobiles. The Company aims to further improve customer satisfaction and cost-competitiveness by pursing cross-border optimization of glass production by type in the region.

Shinichi Kawakami, General Manager,
Corporate Communications Division, Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
Contact: Kenichi Oda
TEL: 03-3218-5408
E-mail: info-pr@agc.co.jp