Issue: Jan 2003


Supply and Demand



by Automotive Industries Staff

North America

Integrated Barcoding Systems Partners With FieldCONNECT Inc.
Integrated Barcoding Systems (IBS), a provider of data collection technology and services, has established a strategic marketing partnership with FieldCONNECT Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, IBS will market and sell FieldCONNECTís line of wireless and web-based software products to OEMs, reseller organizations and end users.

PolyOne to Sell Stake in Techmer PM, LLC Joint Venture
PolyOne Corp., global polymer services company, and TPM Holdings, reached an agreement for PolyOne to sell to TPM Holdings its majority interest in the joint venture company Techmer PM, LLC. The agreement concludes an arbitration filed by TPM Holdings. PolyOne will sell its 51 percent position no later than January 31, 2003. Specific terms were not disclosed. TPM Holdings, which owns the remaining 49 percent of Techmer PM, is headed by John R. Manuck, who will continue as manager and president.

Ricardo Opens Detroit Technology Campus
Ricardo announced the opening of its Detroit Technology Campus, anchored by a new 77,000 sq.ft. two-story office and engineering facility expansion adjacent to its existing engineering and testing operation in Van Buren Twp., Mich. This new facility is nearly double the size of the existing facility and provides the capacity for future growth of its technology and testing capabilities at its now 11-acre, 110,000 sq.ft. Detroit Technology Campus. The build-to-suit facility was designed and constructed by Plymouth, Mich.- based DeMattia Group at a cost of $12 million. Ricardo has entered into a 20- year lease agreement with DeMattia.

Dupont and KCC Formalize Cooperative Coatings Agreement
Dupont Performance Coatings and Korea Chemical Company Ltd. have signed a technical cooperation agreement relating to OEM coatings technology and application knowledge. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The two companies have had a working relationship in place for 20 years, involving a technical license agreement covering electrodeposition primer coatings.

Johnson Controls Licenses Steelcaseís Leap Seating
Johnson Controls and Steelcase Inc. have announced an exclusive agreement giving Johnson Controls license rights to Steelcaseís Leap Seat technology designed to provide additional driver comfort. The design is also engineered to provide a form fit for the back/spinal area.

American Axle & Manufacturing Files Shelf Registration Statement
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. has filed a shelf registration statement with the SEC with respect to possible secondary sales of up to approximately 14 million shares of common stock. All of the 14 million shares are owned by Blackstone Capital Partners II Merchant Banking Fun L.P. and its affiliated funds. While Blackstone contends no sale is eminent, this move will allow for an orderly exit strategy.

Mayflower Wins $50 Million Contract
Mayflower Vehicle Systems Inc. has won a $50 million a year contract from the International Truck and Engine Corporation to build complete cab assemblies for class 8 trucks. According to Mayflower, the contract is already in place and will reach full volume in early 2003. Mayflower will manufacture all-aluminum day and sleeper cab assemblies to be built and shipped to International plants in Chatham, Ontario; Garland, Texas and Escobedo, Mexico.

Fre-Bar Announces Name Change
Fre-Bar Inc. has legally changed its name to Barís Products. The company says the name change is meant to emphasize the full range of products available. Barís Products manufactures and distributes underhood chemical and vehicle cleaning products as well as a line of stop-leak solutions for hydraulics, power steering, engine oil, transmission and radiator/cooling systems.

Dana Corporation Completes Sale of DCC Subsidiaries
Dana Corp. has announced the sale of certain subsidiaries whose principal assets were real estate holdings to a whollyowned subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The total sale was a reported sum of $73 million. This sale is part of continuing plans to divest businesses and assets from Dana Credit Corp. subsidiaries. The cumulative proceeds from DCC businesses and assets for the year was approximately $325 million.

SPX Contech Wins Jeep Grand Cherokee Contract
SPX Corp.ís Contech business has been awarded an $8 million annual contract to supply fully machined aluminum die-cast rack and pinion housing for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Further details of the six-year agreement were not provided. Production is now scheduled to begin in 2004.

Honda Invests $30 Million in Engine Plant
Honda Power Equipment Mfg. Inc. (HPE) will invest approximately $30 million in its Swepsonville, N.C., factory to add a third production line and make other improvements to help meet growing demand for Hondaís general purpose engines. The move will increase HPEís capacity for multipurpose power equipment engines by 50 percent to 1.5 million units per year in 2004. HPE produces engines, lawn mowers and other products using domestic and globally sourced parts. HPE has produced more than 5 million engines for Honda products and for sale to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for use in a range of equipment including lawnmowers, pressure washers and generators. The new production line will have die casting, machining and as sembly operations. It will begin mass production in spring 2004 and is expected to reach full production by fall 2004.

Delco Remy to Close Indiana Manufacturing Operations
Delco Remy International Inc. will close its Delco Remy America starter and alternator manufacturing operations in Anderson, Ind., during first quarter 2003. Production will be absorbed by other Delco Remy plants.

Metaldyne and DaimlerChrysler Joint Venture
Metaldyne Corp. and DaimlerChrysler Corp. have closed on a transaction to operate the Chrysler Group's New Castle (Ind.) Machining and Forge facility as a joint venture. The joint venture will be known as NC-M Chassis Systems, LLC. Metaldyne, which will oversee daily operations, will hold 40 percent of common stock, while the Chrysler Group will hold 60 percent of common stock. The New Castle Machining and Forge plant manufactures suspension and powertrain components for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles, and employs approximately 1,300 people. The plant operates in a 1.1 million sq.ft. facility, and will complete a 500,000 sq.ft. facility in 2003 where new components for the Chrysler Group will be produced.

Europe

TASI Announces New Business Group
Total Automated Solutions Inc. (TASI) and GBP Ergonomics have formed an exclusive partnership. GBP has been manufacturing ergonomically designed workstations for over 90 years. Through this agreement, TASI will be the exclusive U.S. distributor of GBP workstations and accessories.

Collins & Aikman Acquire Plant from Delphi
Collins & Aikman Corp. purchased Delphi Corp. plastic injection molding plant in Logrono, Spain, for a reported Ä15 million. The newly purchased facility is 300,000 sq.ft. and houses 24 injection molders and one Class-A paint line. Management at Collins & Aikman says this move is in an effort to become a global manufacturer.

Tiger Telematics Restructures European Costs
Tiger Telematics Inc., headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., has announced the completion of phase one restructuring of its European operations. Tiger Telematics Europe Ltd. was created to concentrate on completing the development of its next generation telematics. According to the company, the restructure will reduce costs and hasten efforts to come to the market with large fleets and rental car providers in London.

TI Automotive Acquires Pierburg's Electric Fuel Pump Division
In a move to enhance the company's global fuel-pump design and manufacturing capabilities, TI Automotive has acquired the electric fuel-pump division of Kolbenschmidt Pierburg AG in Neuss, Germany.

Kolbenschmidt Pierburg is a subsidiary of Rheinmetall AG based in Duesseldorf, Germany, and has annual sales of approximately $48 million. Pierburg currently supplies electric fuel pumps to a number of leading European automobile manufacturers, including BMW, Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler.

Headquartered in North America, TI Automotive is a leading supplier of fuel systems. The company has production, product development and engineering facilities throughout Europe, including a major research and product development center in Rastatt, Germany.

Asia

Delphi Reports Revenue in China up 35 Percent
Delphi Corp. reports it revenue from its Chinese operations topped $700 million, which is a 35 percent increase from the previous year. This is the second consecutive year that Delphi has reported a growth of over 30 percent from its Chinese operation. Delphi China has maintained an average growth of 24 percent since operations began there in 1994.

GM and FedEx Test Fuel Cell Vehicles in Japan
Federal Express Corp. and General Motors Corp. announced a joint program to conduct the first commercial test of a fuel cell vehicle in Japan. FedEx will participate in GM's HydroGen3 fuel cell testing program for one year by operating the HydroGen3 on its normal delivery schedules in the Tokyo area from June 2003 to June 2004.

GM's HydroGen3 is the first fuel cell vehicle fueled with liquid hydrogen to run on public roads in Japan, the company says. GM will collect and analyze the data gained from the FedEx Express operation to determine how its fuel cell vehicles operate under demanding, real-world commercial driving conditions. GM will collect data from FedEx and will provide all vehicle engineering and maintenance.

The HydroGen3 has a range of 250 mi. and a top speed of 100 mph. Some of the key breakthroughs include eliminating the need for a buffer battery -- needed in previous generations to deal with specific peak-power demands -- as well as developing an internal system for humidifying the fuel cell stack. HydroGen3's packaging and technology innovations move GM another step closer to developing a production-ready vehicle.

Ford Builds Small Car in China
Ford Motor Co. has launched its first made-in-China car, the Fiesta °? a small, 1.3 L car modeled on the European Ford Fiesta but with more than 200 modifications to suit Chinese buyers. Fiesta is manufactured at a $98 million plant in the western city of Chongqing. Ford originally expected an annual capacity of 50,000 vehicles, but that number may be expanded, the company says.

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