Lucas wins Chrysler contract
LucasVarity PLC has won a contract with Chrysler Corp. to design brakes for future sport-utilities. LucasVarity will supply its Girvac brake booster and master cylinder, which will also appear in North America on future Honda and Ford models. The contract's estimated value is $50 million per year.
HYDROFORMING - Benteler AG has signed an agreement with Aisin Takaoka of Japan to manufacture chassis components for light vehicles. The licensing agreement allows Benteler to help design hydroformed components such as subframes, cross members, manifolds and axles. Aisin will produce the components in Japan. The partners expect to launch production in 2000.
SUNROOFS - Webasto Sunroofs Inc. will open a new stamping plant in Livonia, Mich. The plant will begin operations this summer and will employ 279 workers. The factory will replace Webasto's current stamping operation in Rochester Hills, Mich., where Webasto is headquartered.
SUSPENSIONS - Dana Corp. has acquired 98 percent of the capital of Nakata SA Industria e Comercio of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Nakata manufactures shock absorbers, tie rods, ball joints and other suspension components. A Nakata subsidiary produces suspension components in Argentina. The combined Nakata group, including plants in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, had 1997 sales of $110 million.
TIRE MONITORS - TRW Inc. plans to develop tire pressure monitors through a partnership with SmarTire Systems Inc. of Richmond, British Columbia. SmarTire will license its technology to TRW, which will make the monitors for cars and trucks. The systems tell drivers when tires have suddenly lost pressure. TRW will acquire 10 percent of SmarTire's stock for $3.6 million, with an option to buy another 10 percent.
GAUGES - Datcon Instrument Co. has acquired Stewart Warner Instrument Corp., maker of vehicle instrumentation. Terms were not disclosed. The acquisition will allow Datcon to offer a range of analog and digital instrument clusters, gauges, electronic control units and battery monitors. The company will operate under the name Maxima Technologies. Datcon is based in Lancaster, Pa.