Issue: Jan 2004


Supply and Demand



by AI Staff

North America

Dana Corp. to Provide New Multi-layer Fuel Lines

Dana Corp. will begin producing new, multi-layer fuel lines for various applications in Europe, North America and South America.

The announcement comes after Dana signed a five-year licensing agreement with Nitta Moore Co. Ltd. of Japan to extrude polybuthylene naphthalate (PBN) multilayer tubing for the automotive fuel market.

PBN can be extruded in small and large sizes with conductive, non-conductive, and corrugated configurations. This innovative product has potential application for fuel feed, fuel return, and fuel vapor lines, as well as tank filler necks. When compared to older fluoropolymer multi-layer tubing, improvements are evident in low permeation, electric static discharge (ESD), weight and cost.

The new multi-layer PBN tubing is made up of five different layers: a PBN middle layer, two adhesive layers and Nylon-12 internal and external layers.

TT Electronics Expands Sensor Capabilities

Global electronics manufacturing company TT Electronics announces its acquisition of U.S. optoelectronic manufacturer Optek Technology, Inc., from privately held Dyson- Kissner-Moran Corporation (DKM).

With headquarters in Carrollton, Texas and a manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico, Optek Technologies had sales of $68.6 million (40.4 million) in the year ended January 31, 2003. The company employs approximately 1,000 people in its Texas and Mexico plants.

This acquisition represents an expansion of TT electronics' sensor activities in the U.S.A., strengthening the group's position within its current capabilities and introducing new related technologies with the addition of optoelectronic and fiber optic sensors. Approximately 40 percent of Optek's sales are Hall Effect sensors for the automotive market.

Other products within the Optek range are infrared light emitting diodes (transmitters) and photologic detectors (receivers), optoelectronic assemblies and fiber optic sensors which are used in a broad range of markets including factory automation, medical, aerospace, data communications and office equipment markets.

Delphi's Body Electronics and Security Systems Continues to Grow

Delphi Delco Electronics Systems Body Electronics and Security Systems product line has booked more than $1.2 billion in global business in the last 12 months.

The body electronics, as packaged with security systems, enable inputs and outputs to be linked through powerful microprocessors. The linkage of body computer architecture allows electrical distribution throughout the vehicle. The use of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and Surface Mounted Devices (SMDs), where appropriate helps ensure that body electronics system components are small and reliable.

Body and security features include trip computer, remote keyless entry, keyless start, vehicle immobilization systems, security alarms, glass breakage sensors and vehicle inclination sensors. Body electronics systems also coordinate and control interior functions such as lights, chimes and power distribution.

Saab Adds SUV

Continuing the biggest product offensive in its history, Saab Automobile AB announces its latest new model and first sport utility vehicle, the 2005 Saab 9-7X. Featuring standard all-wheel-drive and two engine choices, the mid-size SUV will fill Saab's need for an entry is this rapidly growing market segment.

The Saab 9-7X will make its world debut at the 2004 New York Auto Show in April, 2004, and will go on sale about one year later. Initially, the 9-7X will be produced specifically for the United States and Canadian markets.

"We are pleased to continue to expand our product line in the North American market, which is critical to Saab's success," commented Peter Augustsson, President and CEO of Saab Automobile AB. "With the Saab 9-X and 9-3X concept vehicles, followed by the award-winning Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible, the 9-3 Sport- Hatch concept and the dynamic new 9-2X, we are exceeding our commitment to introduce one new vehicle each year for five years."

Tesma International Inc. to Acquire Davis Industries Inc.

Tesma International Inc. signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding shares of privately-held automotive supplier Davis Industries Inc., currently headquartered in Plymouth, Mich.

Davis employs over 700 people in three manufacturing facilities located in Indiana (two facilities) and Tennessee and one engineering center in Michigan. The company's product line includes driveplate assemblies, transmission shells and oil pan assemblies, engine valve covers, other powertrain stampings and assemblies, heat shields, body and chassis stampings and fuel filler door assemblies.

Davis' main product focus, in the area of stamped powertrain components and assemblies, will complement and broaden Tesma's current product offerings and customer base. Davis supplies OEM customers in North America and Europe, including Ford, Nissan, Honda, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and Navistar.

Through its other Tier 1 customer relationships, Davis also supplies products used in vehicles manufactured for Toyota, BMW, Nissan and Honda. Davis has achieved notable success in meeting the needs of the New Domestic OEMs, as over one-third of its sales are to these manufacturers or their Tier 1 suppliers. For the most recently completed fiscal year ended September 30, 2003, Davis reported sales of approximately $129 million.

ArvinMeritor to Sell Its APA Joint Venture Shares to Kayaba

ArvinMeritor Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its 75 percent shareholdings in AP Amortiguadores S.A. (APA) to joint venture partner Kayaba Industry Co. Ltd. In 1989, ArvinMeritor acquired shares in the joint venture company, which manufactures shock absorbers for the global automotive market. The sale is subject to regulatory approval, and terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

DuPont Automotive Coatings Unit and Kansai Paint to End Joint Venture

DuPont and Kansai Paint Ltd. have agreed to amicably terminate their automotive coatings joint venture relationships due to incompatible global strategies.

DuPont and Kansai operate three joint ventures that provide coatings to Japanese auto makers in North America and the United Kingdom. They are: DuPont Kansai Automotive Coatings Company, Troy, Mich.; Pinturas Automotorices DuPont Kansai, S.A. de C.V.Mexico City, Mexico; and DuPont Kansai Automotive Coatings (U.K.) Ltd., Hemel Hempstead, U.K.

The joint ventures were formed to supply and service the automotive coatings needs of Japan-headquartered auto companies for their operations in the U.K. and North America. The joint ventures will continue to service customers for a one- to two-year transition period.

Chrysler Group Celebrates Grand Opening of Indiana Transmission Plant II

Chrysler Group celebrated the grand opening of its Indiana Transmission Plant II located in Kokomo, Indiana.

Indiana Transmission Plant II will manufacture and ship transmissions to Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant, the production home of the Chrysler 300 Series and the Dodge Magnum. Both the 300 Series and the Magnum will begin production in early 2004.

Indiana Transmission Plant II represents a $455 million investment in the State of Indiana.





Asia

Cooper Tire and Kenda Rubber Announce Joint Venture Plans

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has reached an agreement with Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. to build a plant to produce radial passenger and light truck tires.

The plant will be located in the Jiangsu Province of the People's Republic of China outside Shanghai and will be owned jointly by Cooper Tire and Kenda Rubber. It is anticipated that construction will begin in mid-2004 and tires should be available in late 2005. Initial production will be for export from China for Cooper Tire.

Denso/Toshiba Jointly Develop Multi OS Environment Car Navigation Systems

Toshiba Corporation and DENSO Corporation announced joint development of multi OS (operating system) environment (software) for car navigation systems. The multi OS environment provides single-chip support for both uITRON, the operating system for embedded devices, and Microsoft Windows Automotive and enables to use advanced automotive systems, provided byuITRON and multi-media applications such as internet, provided by MicrosoftR WindowsR Automotive concurrently.

The multi OS environment can be applied to the SoC (system on chip), "NAVIEM" which is used for DENSO's car navigation systems. "NAVIEM", which is jointly developed by DENSO and Toshiba, features Toshiba's TX49 embedded CPU.

The TX49 core, based on the RISC architecture developed by MIPS Technologies, Inc., provides full support for SoC, assuring the flexibility required for integration of diverse applications and the scalability required for the integration of wide-ranging functionality. As a result, "NAVIEM" provide automotive designer engineers with the freedom and ability to address diverse requirements with a single-chip solution.

DENSO Announces Outcome of the Share Repurchase

DENSO Corporation announced the outcome of the repurchase of its own shares in conformity with the Provisions of Article 210 of the Commercial Code. The decision to repurchase its own shares, was made at the 80th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on June 27, 2003, included common stock of the company. The aggregate number of shares to be repurchased is 20 million shares with an aggregate purchase amount up to 40 billion yen. The cumulative total number of shares repurchased from the 80th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders through Dec. 22, 2003 is 3,780,000 shares which cost DENSO 7,783 million yen.

Akebono Goes to China

Japan-based Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd., plans to establish operations in China by the end of 2005. Initial plans are for the Akebono in China to exclusively support Japanese automakers that are establishing manufacturing operations there. Products to be manufactured in the new facility will include friction materials and foundation brake components. A taskforce has been assigned to determine a site for the production operation in the Guangzhou area near Hong Kong. Akebono will export products from Japan to China to fulfill customer orders until production at its Chinese facility is underway.

Hydro Aluminum to Build Plant in China

Hydro Aluminum will construct its first wholly owned automotive components plant in China. Hydro will build the plant in Suzhou, north of Shanghai, to satisfy its automotive customers and further raise its own profile as the leading global supplier of lightweight precision tubing components. The new site will produce precision drawn tubing, multi-port extrusions and extruded tubular profiles used in automotive heat transfer applications. Hydro will break ground in the first quarter of 2004 and install the plants extrusion press by July.





South America

Goodyear Wins Global Supply Contracts with Volvo Group

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reached global supply agreements to become a major tire supplier to the Volvo Group in Europe and Brazil. Last month, Goodyear was named standard equipment tire supplier for the Volvo Group's Volvo and Mack truck operations in North America. Goodyear, with three-year contracts, will now be a key supplier to the Volvo Group's three major truck brands (Mack, Renault and Volvo) on three continents. Volvo, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the world's second largest truck manufacturer.
Goodyear Wins Global Supply Contracts with Volvo Group

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reached global supply agreements to become a major tire supplier to the Volvo Group in Europe and Brazil. Last month, Goodyear was named standard equipment tire supplier for the Volvo Group's Volvo and Mack truck operations in North America. Goodyear, with three-year contracts, will now be a key supplier to the Volvo Group's three major truck brands (Mack, Renault and Volvo) on three continents. Volvo, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the world's second largest truck manufacturer.

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