Lu Guanqiu, Chairman of Wanxiang Group, is seen during the conference releasing the top 500 enterprises of China in Hanghzou, east Chinas Zhejiang province, Saturday, September 5, 2009. Photo: AFP

Well-known Zhejiang businessman Lu Guanqiu, founder of Wanxiang Group, a successful Chinese multinational automotive component manufacturing company, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 72, reported.

Lu and his family rank 37th on the 100 Richest Chinese Businessman list published by Hurun Report, with a total estimated fortune of 49.1 billion yuan (US$7.4 billion).

Lu was born into a farmer family in a village along the Qiantang River in Zhejiang province. He started in business by setting up an agricultural machinery repair factory in 1969, with six farmers and 4,000 yuan.

The factory gradually switched its focus to automotive components and went public as the Wanxiang Group in 1992.

At that time, the general capital of the company was 109 million shares. By 2014, the company had expanded to 1.59 billion shares, a 14 times rise.