Billionaire Auto Parts Maker Emerges in China With Ningbo

Wang Jianfeng, the chairman of automotive accessories manufacturer Ningbo Joyson Electronics Co., has become a billionaire after the Ningbo, Zhejiang-based company almost doubled since January.

Wang owns more than half of NB Joyson Invest Holding Co., the largest shareholder of Shanghai-traded Ningbo Joyson, according to the company’s semi-annual report. His stake is valued at more than $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has never appeared on an international wealth ranking.

Founded in 2004, Joyson produces control systems and other parts for automobiles for carmakers such as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., according to its website. It bought Germany’s Preh GmbH in 2011, an acquisition that helped expand its business in Europe and domestically.

“Localization of Preh’s products and technology in China is the largest source of growth at Joyson,” Wang Yanxue, a Beijing-based analyst at Huachuang Securities said in a research note on Jan. 16, where he recommended the stock.

China in 2013 became the first country to sell more than 20 million units domestically in a year. Sales of passenger vehicles, excluding buses and commercial trucks, climbed to 17.93 million last year -- 15 percent more than the U.S. auto industry -- and may increase 9 percent to 11 percent this year, according to the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Three calls to Joyson’s board secretary Ye Shuping weren’t answered. Wang couldn’t be reached in his office for comment.

China accounted for three quarters of Joyson’s revenue in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Headquartered in Ningbo in eastern China, Joyson has subsidiaries in Shanghai and Changchun. It also has overseas branches in Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Romania and the U.S., according to its website.