Issue: May 2003


Supply and Demand



by Automotive Industries staff

North America

Federal-Mogul Completes Sale of U.S. Camshaft Operations

Federal-Mogul Corp. has completed the sale of its U.S. camshaft operations to ASIMCO Camshaft Specialties Inc. — a company formed by ASIMCO International (an automotive components manufacturing company based in Beijing, China) and Key Principle Partners, a private investment firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. Federal-Mogul received total consideration of approximately $28 million, including the sale price and retained accounts receivable of the operations.

The sale was completed following approval of the transaction by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The sale includes operations at two locations in Grand Haven, Mich., and one location in Orland, Ind., which manufacture camshafts for passenger car and commercial vehicle applications. The operations sold have about 500 employees and had combined sales of approximately $80 million in 2001.

Haartz Corp. and TMG Automotive Form Alliance

Haartz Corp. and TMG Automotive have announced an alliance to cooperate in the development of automobile interior surface technology. The partnership agreement will focus on the development of innovative thermoplastic polyolefin foils and molding technologies for future door panel and instrument panel programs.

Dana Supplies Cylinder-Head Cover Modules

Dana Corp. has begun supplying the cylinder-head, cam-cover module for DaimlerChrysler’s 4.7L V-8 engine for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Dodge Dakota and Dodge Ram vehicles.

The vinyl ester glass-reinforced thermoset plastic modules, which are unique to the left- and right-side cylinders, include the cover, gasket and fasteners. These components are produced at Dana’s Composite Sealing Center in Paris, Tenn.
 
AG Simpson to open Louisiana Facility
 
AG Simpson plans to locate an automotive facility in Shreveport, La. AG Simpson, based in Scarborough, Ontario, provides multiple parts and operations that include metal stamping, front and rear bumper modules, valve covers, oil pans and other auto related items.
 
AG Simpson announced a $2 million investment into an existing 80,000 sq.- ft. facility in Shreveport to supply GM with the sequencing of bumpers and other parts for the new Canyon and Colorado pickup trucks.

Ichikoh Awarded GM Contract

Ichikoh Manufacturing Inc. has been awarded the contract to supply exterior mirrors for the next generation of GM full size sport utility vehicles, including the Cadillac Escalade; Chevrolet Suburban, Avalanche and Tahoe; and the GMC Yukon and Denali models.
 
The mirrors range from manual fold, electrically operated units to sophisticated power fold units with a puddle lamp, turn signal, self-dimming feature, defrost capability and memory setting control. Ichikoh will supply GM with mirrors from its Shelbyville, Ky., facility.

Oxford Automotive to Close Ohio Plant

Oxford Automotive Inc. will close its stamping facility in Masury, Ohio, by the end of October. The closure is the result of overcapacity in the North American light vehicle market and is part of the company’s overall effort to cut costs while maintaining a leadership position in the automotive industry.

The Masury facility produces stampings for a variety of automotive applications. Oxford Automotive is headquartered in Troy, Mich., and has 37 facilities in 10 countries around the world.

Exide Technologies Wins Ford Supply Agreements

Exide Technologies is expanding its partnerships with Ford Motor Co. Exide, which has a 30-year relationship with Ford, supplies starting batteries for the Crown Victoria, Econoline, Explorer, FSeries, Grand Marquis, Mountaineer, Ranger, Sable and Taurus.
 
In Europe, Exide will supply automotive starting batteries to the entire Ford manufacturing facility in Genk, Belgium. The facility produces Mondeo cars and Transit light trucks. The supply agreement is scheduled to come into effect in the second quarter of 2003.
 
In North America, Exide has secured additional supply agreements to provide starting batteries for three future models.

DENSO in Athens Becomes Independent Company

DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee Inc.’s Athens location has become an independent business, effective April 1. The new company’s name is DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee Inc. Harvey Oita, executive vice president at the Athens location for the past three years, has been named president.
 
The Athens facility currently produces oxygen sensors, fuel injectors, air-flow meters, ignition coils and spark plugs, with production about to begin on a monolithic carrier, part of catalytic converters.

Westport Innovations Wins Government of Canada Contract

Westport Innovations Inc. has been awarded a strategic project investment of $18.9 million from Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) to support the development of high-performance low-emissions engines.

The TPC funds will contribute to approximately one-third of the research and development costs of Westport’s vehicle programs over the next several years.

Westport Innovations is a developer of gaseous fuel technologies based on the diesel engine platform. The patented Westport-Cycle technology allows a new diesel engine to operate on a gaseous fuel, such as natural gas or hydrogen, while retaining the power and fuel efficiency of diesel.

ITT Automotive to Expand Saltillo Operations

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based ITT Automotive has entered into an agreement with the Tucson, Ariz.-based Offshore Group to occupy a 70,000 sq.ft. build-to-suit facility to be constructed at the Offshore Group’s Angostura Industrial Park in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.

According to the company, the expansion of ITT Automotive’s manufacturing in Saltillo is part of its strategy to remain competitive in the North American market while remaining centrally located to the growing Tier 2 customer base in Saltillo and Mexico City. When fully occupied, the facility will employ over 350 people dedicated to producing high quality aluminum HVAC products, fuel and brake tube assemblies, and numerous other automotive components.

Nissan Opens New Facility

Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), the financing arm of Nissan North America Inc., has relocated to a new 268,000 sq.ft. customer service center in Irving, Texas, just west of Dallas.

The build-to-suit facility is located on a 14.8-acre site adjacent to Nissan’s South Central Regional office, service-training facility and parts distribution center. The new building creates a campus environment with shared facilities including a fitness center, cafeteria and childcare center. The new three-story facility, located at the southeast corner of Freeport Parkway and Regent Boulevard, supports an initial workforce of approximately 800, with additional space for future growth.
 
The new facility enhances Nissan’s ability to provide Nissan and Infiniti dealers in the United States with inventory and mortgage financing and related services, and to purchase and service vehicle lease and loan contracts for consumers.

Europe

Dana and GETRAG to Partner with Volvo

Dana Corp. and GETRAG Getriebe- und Zahnradfabrik Hermann Hagenmeyer GmbH & Cie KG (GETRAG) have signed letter of intent with Volvo Car Corp. for a new Dana-GETRAG entity to purchase a 60-percent interest in Volvo’s operations in Koping, Sweden.
 
The joint venture with Volvo Car Corp. will produce all-wheeldrive and chassis systems for passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles. Plans for the new joint venture call for the operations in Koping to be streamlined to create a fully integrated, selfsufficient All-Wheel-Drive Center. The joint venture will act as a fully independent supplier and will market its services to Ford Motor Co., its affiliates and other automotive manufacturers around the world.

Audi Plans Digital Vehicle Assembly with Delmia Solutions

Digital manufacturing solutions provider Delmia Corp., a Dassault Syst?mes company, has announced that Audi AG, the luxury division of German carmaker Volkswagen AG, has selected DELMIA’s Process Engineer solution for the planning of digital vehicle assemblies at its Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants in Germany.

DELMIA Process Engineer is designed to enable manufacturers to identify process risks at the conceptual product design phase. By relating product to process and manufacturing resource data, including the plant layout, Process Engineer helps users avoid planning mistakes and obtain an overview of the required investment costs, production space and manpower at an early stage, the company says.

Asia

Toyota, China’s FAW to Build New China Car Plant

Toyota Motor Corp. signed a deal to expand its alliance with China’s First Automotive Works (FAW), including the construction of a new vehicle plant in Tianjin, China. The plant will produce cars based on Toyota’s Crown luxury sedan beginning in 2005 with an initially output around 50,000 vehicles a year. The two companies also plan to jointly produce three other Toyota models — the Corolla, the Land Cruiser and the Land Cruiser Prado — at existing factories in China.

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