Issue: Jan 2005


Supply and Demand



by AI Staff

North America

BorgWarner Buys Majority Stake in Beru AG

BorgWarner Inc., through one of its wholly owned German subsidiaries, has completed the purchase of approximately 62 percent of the outstanding shares of German-based Beru AG from its major shareholders, The Carlyle Group, and a group of family shareholders. The purchase was a cash transaction at a price of euro 59 per share or euro 367 million.

Headquartered in Ludwigsburg, Germany, Beru AG is a global automotive supplier and manufacturer of diesel cold-start technology (glow plugs and instant starting systems); gasoline ignition technology (spark plugs and ignition coils); and electronic and sensor technology (tire pressure sensors, diesel cabin heaters and selected sensors). Berus major customers include, among others, BMW, DCX, GM/Fiat, VW/Audi, Ford, Porsche, PSA, Renault, Isuzu, Siemens VDO, Valeo, Deutz and MAN.

Ford to Offer Factory-Installed Sirius Satellite Radio

Ford and Lincoln Mercury will begin offering Sirius as a factory-installed option this summer. Ford is targeting the Sirius factory-installed option for up to 21 vehicle lines. Ford expects to generate up to one million Sirius subscribers over the 2006 and 2007 model year periods.

Each Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicle sold with factory-equipped Sirius will include a six-month or longer subscription. Starting with the 2006 model year, Ford plans to offer factory-installed Sirius on the following vehicle lines: Ford F-150; Ford Explorer; Lincoln Mark LT; Mercury Mountaineer.

Ford and Lincoln Mercury are targeting up to 17 additional vehicle lines for the Sirius factory-installed option during the 2006 and 2007 calendar year period. In total, about 80 percent of all Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles will have Sirius as a factory-installed option.

Johnson Controls Forms Minority Joint Venture

Johnson Controls has been selected to provide vehicle seating and interior parts for trucks to be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturings new plant in San Antonio, Texas.

As part of its minority supplier development program, Johnson Controls has created a new, joint-venture operation called Avanzar Interior Technologies Ltd. with a minority-owned business, SAT Auto Technologies Ltd., to handle the work. Avanzar Interior Technologies has been certified by the Central & South Texas Minority Business Council as a Minority.

Under the sourcing deal with Toyota, Avanzar Interior Technologies will manufacture automotive seat systems and interior parts for the next-generation Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck. Production is expected to begin in the fall of 2006. Avanzar Interior Technologies will manufacture seat systems and interior parts at facilities on Toyotas site.




Asia

Japan Certifies Honda FC Stack-Equipped FCX

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure has certified the nextgeneration Honda FC Stack-equipped FCX fuel cell vehicle, which is capable of starting in sub-freezing temperatures, for use on public roads. Honda plans to offer the new FCX for lease in various regions starting in 2005, including those with cold winter climates. Honda has been leasing the FCX in the United States and Japan since December 2002. Honda has been testing the new Honda FC Stack-equipped FCX in cold weather since last year, demonstrating its advanced functionality, including the capacity to start and operate at sub-zero temperatures. Now that the Honda fuel cell vehicle can be offered in areas where temperatures fall below zero, another important step has been taken toward large-scale commercialization.

Plymouth Rubber Company Inc. to Form Joint Venture in China

Plymouth Rubber Company Inc. has reached agreement with Hebei Huaxia Group on the formation of a joint venture company to manufacture PVC (vinyl) adhesive tapes in China. Hebei Huaxia will provide the new company with manufacturing assets and management, and knowledge of the Chinese market; Plymouth will provide advanced PVC technology and marketing support for international companies with operations in China.

The new company, to be called Plymouth Yongle Tape (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., will occupy a new manufacturing facility currently under construction near Shanghai, and is expected to be in production early in 2005. Plymouth Rubber Company Inc. manufactures and distributes plastic and rubber products, including automotive tapes.


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