GM plans Saginaw investment
GM Powertrain said it would invest $170 million in its Saginaw (Mich.) Metal Casting plant to add production of aluminum engine blocks and cylinder heads using lost foam casting technology. Saginaw is the third GM Powertrain plant to use the lost foam process. The other plants are the Massena, N.Y., casting plant and Saturn's operations in Spring Hill, Tenn. GM said the investment in Saginaw would help retain 440 jobs.
ENGINES - BMW AG and Chrysler Corp. broke ground for a new joint venture engine plant in Brazil. The Tritec Motors Ltda. joint venture in Campo Largo will have the capacity to turn out up to 400,000 engines annually. Production of the first engine, a 1.6-liter model, is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2000. Initial plans call for the 1.6-liter engine to go into the next generation of Chrysler's Neon sedans for international markets, and into what the companies call the New Mini to be built in Great Britain by Rover Group, a subsidiary of BMW.
ENGINE CLEANING - SPX Corp. said it formed a strategic alliance with Enginewity International Inc., a Clearwater, Fla., maker of mobile service equipment for cleaning fuel-injection systems, engines, cooling systems and transmissions. SPX said the alliance will involve the manufacture and marketing of the system to vehicle manufacturers and to its own national account and aftermarket customers.
ACQUISITIONS - SPX has asked a federal court to schedule an April 24 special meeting of Echlin Inc. shareholders. SPX seeks to install its own board at Echlin as part of a plan to acquire the Branford, Conn., parts maker. Echlin maintains that SPX does not have enough support among shareholders to force a special meeting.
BUYOUT - Coltec Industries Inc. said it agreed to sell its Holley Performance Products Inc. unit to a management-led group for $100 million. The deal is expected to close in May. Holley, with plants in Bowling Green, Ky., and Springfield, Tenn., had 1997 sales of about $100 million. Holley makes carburetors, fuel injection components and ignition systems for the aftermarket. It also makes replacement carburetors for the Big 3.
EARNINGS - Aluminum wheel maker Superior Industries International Inc. of Van Nuys, Calif., said net income rose 11 percent for the first quarter ended March 31 to $12.8 million, on sales of $136.4 million.