Issue: Aug 2003


Supply and Demand



by AI Staff

North America

Ford's Lima (Ohio) Engine Plant to Build New Duratec 35 V-6

Ford Motor Co. is investing $335 million in its Lima, Ohio, engine plant to build the 24-valve, 3.5L Duratec 35 V-6 engine, which will power a variety of future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles, including passenger cars and crossover vehicles. Annual production capacity is projected to be up to 325,000 engines a year. Production of the new engine will begin at the Lima plant by the end of 2005.

As part of the new cylinder-head machining area, Ford will install a series of "flexible" computer-numerically controlled (CNC) machines to manufacture the engine's cylinder head. Ford also will convert its existing flexible manufacturing equipment at Lima to build crankshafts for the new V-6 engine.

Tenneco Automotive Wins New Exhaust Business with Ford

Tenneco Automotive has been selected by Ford Motor Co. as the full service exhaust supplier for the Ford gas and diesel 2007 model year F-Series Super- Duty truck platform. The company will supply hot and cold-end exhaust components including mufflers, extension pipes, diesel turbo down pipes, exhaust isolators and gas light-off converters.

Westport/Ford Collaborate to Advance Hydrogen Engine Program

Westport Innovations Inc. signed an agreement with Ford Motor Co. to support the automaker's hydrogen engine development program.

Under the agreement, Ford will purchase Westport's fuel injection hardware, electronic controls and engineering support, including a set of prototype hydrogen fuel injectors. Westport retains the intellectual property rights for the injector, which is a hydrogenspecific version of Westport's patented and proprietary direct injection technology for light-duty natural gas engines. The cost of Ford's program was not disclosed.

Timken to Close Rockford Plant

As part of its continuing strategy to focus its plants to be globally competitive in the product that each manufactures and integrate its acquisition of Torrington, The Timken Company will close the Rockford plant in Rockford, Ill., within the next three to five months. The plant employs 32 people. The Rockford plant, which makes radial ball bearings for general industrial and consumer durable applications, had suffered from low-priced imports that have entered the country in increasing quantities.

Toyota Expands Alabama Plant

Toyota Motor Corp has announced plans to more than double annual output capacity at its Huntsville, Alabama, engine plant. The company plans to invest $20 million at the plant. The additional investment will allow Toyota to produce 130,000 Alabama-made V-6 Tacoma and Tundra pickup engines and bring its total production to 250,000 engines per year. Toyota will begin building V-6 engines.





Europe

Johnson Controls Completes Acquisition of Borg Instruments

Johnson Controls has completed its acquisition of Borg Instruments AG. Borg Johnson Controls said it paid cash of approximately .117.5 million and expects the transaction to be accretive to Johnson Controls earnings in fiscal 2004. It is using short-term borrowings to finance the acquisition. Johnson Controls said that Borg Instruments will strengthen its interiors electronics capabilities as well as its technological presence in Europe. Johnson Controls also anticipates transferring the Borg technology to the North American and other markets.

Valeo Sells its French Plastics Injection Facility in Saint Aubin

Valeo announced the sale of its Saint Aubin d'Arquenay, France, site to IMTEC, one of the Group's VIP (Valeo Integrated Partners) suppliers. This sale was carried out in the context of Valeo's program of disengagement from plastic injection activities, announced to the European Works Council on January 18, 2002. The sale is expected to be completed on October 1, 2003, and the jobs of the 46 employees from the site will be secured.





Asia

INTERMET to Open Sales and Engineering Office in Japan

INTERMET Corp. will open a sales and engineering office in Japan to support its growing roster of automotive customers based in the Asia-Pacific region. Located in central Tokyo, the new office will further expand INTERMET's engineering and sales support activities and will be networked with the company's other sales and technology centers in the United States and Europe. The facility will house sales engineering personnel and support staff who will be responsible for creating brand awareness, expanding sales distribution channels and increasing demand for INTERMET products. They also will be focused on working with INTERMET's automotive partners in Japan, China and Korea to design cast-metal components that will help reduce the weight, cost and production cycles of their products.

SmarTire Terminates Agreement with Visteon

SmarTire Systems Inc. has terminated its agreement with Visteon Corp. and has elected to strengthen its strategic alliance with Asian partner Hyundai Autonet Company (HACO). HACO is a subsidiary of the Hyundai Auto Group, one of Korea's largest conglomerate companies. SmarTire will market its products and services directly to OEMs worldwide with the exception of the Korean market.

SmarTire has previously entered into an agreement with HACO to jointly develop products for the Korean market. HACO will manufacture and market specific products for the Korean marketplace. As announced by SmarTire in July, HACO has been contracted by Hyundai Motor Corporation to develop commercial vehicle tire pressure monitoring systems.

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