In addition, the ongoing discussions with the municipal Chong Qing government for the set up of a Chinese plant for the production of its automatic gearbox have concluded that Antonov can access the majority of the funding required to set up its Chinese production from Chinese sources.
The company has held discussions with government agencies in relation to the following funding options that are available to support the development of the Chinese production plant:
Land and custom buildings and infrastructure can be provided in a suitable economic development zone to lease, avoiding the need for Antonov to make any upfront capital investment.
Bank loans for the purchase of capital plant and tooling can be underwritten to enable preferential interest rates to be obtained.
A specific investment fund has been set up jointly between the government and banks to provide equity funding for high technology manufacturing and the Antonov production plant qualifies for this funding.
Antonov says that these options, in aggregate, meet more than half the estimated funding requirement of €40 million.
In setting up the manufacturing joint venture, the Chinese partners will invest cash and Antonov will bring its past product development investment and some new cash. In combination, the company now expects that its total cash contribution to the joint venture will not exceed 10% of the total funding requirement to achieve a 49% equity stake.
Antonov’s major innovation for an electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission is based on new kinematics (the motion of the gears and other components) and structural design, which achieves for the first time a combination of planetary gears and parallel transfers of power.
The traditional torque converter has been eliminated and replaced with a simple wet clutch, reducing cost, weight and size, whilst improving mechanical and fuel efficiency as well as retaining the virtually seamless gearshifts of an automatic transmission.