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Supply Line

European maker picks BorgWarner

CHICAGO - BorgWarner will supply its Morse TEC silent timing-chain system to an undisclosed European automaker for its new four-cylinder engines. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The contract begins in January 2002, with BorgWarner supplying as many as 500,000 units per year. The systems will be manufactured in Arcore, Italy.

Two create exhaust venture

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Tenneco Automotive formed a joint venture company, Walker Exhaust Thailand Co. Ltd., with exhaust system maker Yarnapund Co. Ltd. of Thailand.

Walker Exhaust Thailand will supply exhaust systems for the Isuzu I190 platform, which is a light pickup scheduled to start production next year.

The company will be in a Yarnapund plant in Bangkok, Thailand.

Fiat, Renault order from TRW

DETROIT - Fiat S.p.A. and Renault SA have ordered Electrically Assisted Steering systems from TRW Inc. The contracts with TRW Chassis Systems in Livonia, Mich., are valued at more than $900 million.

Fiat will use the electric power steering unit on the Stilo. The component will be sourced from TRW Chassis Systems plants in Birmingham, England, and Livorno, Italy.

Renault will use the system on the Megane. The system will be sourced from TRW's plant in Pamplona, Spain.

Annual sales of the system will top $500 million this year, and is projected to exceed $1 billion by 2006, TRW said.

JCI buys German battery maker

MILWAUKEE - Johnson Controls Inc. is buying auto battery maker Hoppecke Automotive GmbH of Brilon, Germany. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Privately held Hoppecke supplies batteries to DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA and MAN AG. Sales are expected to top $100 million in 2001. The company has plants in Germany, and sales and distribution offices in France and the United Kingdom.

Hoppecke has developed technology that stores a battery's electrolyte inside an absorbent glass mat that helps stop spills or leaks. The system, dubbed vlies.tec, also extends battery life.

Johnson Controls also manufactures similar battery technology under the Optima name.

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