GM calls LucasVarity top supplier, hails others
General Motors has named LucasVarity PLC's Light Vehicle Braking Systems Division its 'Corporation of the Year.' The unit, based in Livonia, Mich., stood out among the 182 parts makers GM honored as its suppliers of the year for 1997. They are recognized for service, quality and reliable deliveries. LucasVarity's Freios Varga unit, which makes brakes in South America, was also honored as a top GM supplier.
MANIFOLDS - Wescast Industries Inc. will build a 100,000-square-foot casting plant in Wingham, Ontario. Wescast will spend $60 million on the factory, which will boost annual production capacity by 33 percent. Initially the plant will employ 100 workers, and the payroll is scheduled to rise to 300 in 2002. Wescast is based in Wingham and makes exhaust manifolds.
STEERING SYSTEMS - ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Robert Bosch GmbH are forming a joint venture to produce steering systems. ZF, based in Friedrichshafen, Germany, will consolidate all of its steering technology in the joint venture. Bosch, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, will develop electronic controls, sensors and electric drives. The venture will be headquartered in Schwabisch Gmund, Germany.
EARNINGS - Collins & Aikman Corp. reported first-quarter net income for continuing operations of $8.7 million, or 13 cents per share, down from 17 cents per share a year earlier. Sales were $478 million, up 15 percent. Foreign operations accounted for 41 percent of sales, up from 32 percent a year earlier. Acquisitions in England, Germany, Sweden and Belgium accounted for the sales increase.
ENGINE COMPONENTS - Siemens Automotive Systems Group has begun production of camshaft-adjustment devices at a plant in Chemnitz, Germany. Siemens invested about $10 million in the plant, at which 270 employees are scheduled to produce 600,000 units a year. Customers include Audi and Volkswagen AG. In the future, Siemens will upgrade that plant to produce injectors for diesels equipped with common-rail technology. Siemens is based in Regensburg, Germany.