Allison Transmission will invest $100 million to expand production of transmissions. The investment will boost production of the World Transmission by 35 percent in mid-2000. Allison also will boost production of its AT Series transmission line. The investment will add 125 hourly jobs by 2002. Allison is based in Indianapolis.
LIGHTING - Cooper Automotive has developed a 'touch lamp' technology that could replace conventional mechanical switches for dome lamps and other lights. The supplier will start producing them for an unnamed automaker in 2000. The motorist touches the dome lamp to activate a computer chip, which turns on the light. The touch switch also can be used to activate LED readouts, a compass and temperature controls. Cooper is based in St. Louis.
TIRES - Bridgestone Corp. will form a tire-making joint venture in Poland with a local manufacturer. Bridgestone will spend $44 million and own 71 percent of the joint venture with Stomil Poznan SA, a state-owned tire maker. The venture will be located in Poznan, and will start producing radial tires in July 2000. Initially, the venture will produce 5,000 tires per day, with production rising to 10,000. The joint venture will invest $75 million in the plant, which will employ 300 workers.
TOOLING - Benteler Automotive Corp. has announced plans to buy HST Services Inc., which handles heat treating and tube cutting for other suppliers. Benteler, which previously held 49 percent of HST's stock, will acquire the rest on June 1. HST employs 70 workers, with annual sales of $38 million. Benteler is based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
DIVIDENDS - Superior Indus-tries International will raise its quarterly dividend to 8 cents per share, up from 7 cents. The company's next dividend will be paid July 17 to shareholders of record on July 3. Superior supplies steel wheels to Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Chrysler de Mexico and others.
FOAM - Foamex Automotive has installed a new laminator at Foamex de Mexico's Juarez facility. Lamination is the process of using flame or adhesives to bond polyurethane foam to automotive fabric. The new machinery will produce laminated fabric, vinyl or carpeting for an unnamed Tier 1 supplier. Foamex Automotive is based in Linwood, Pa.
ROBOTS - FANUC Robotics North America Inc. has expanded operations in Ohio by moving into a new 40,000-square-foot facility in Mason, a suburb of Cincinnati. The company vacated an 18,000-square-foot facility in Cincinnati, which it had occupied since 1993. FANUC is based in Rochester Hills, Mich.
ACQUISITIONS - Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. has purchased a 50 percent share of Mianyang Xinchen Engine Co. Ltd., a joint venture that makes gasoline engines. The company also has acquired a 51 percent share of Ningbo Yuming Machinery Industrial Co. Ltd., which makes windows, molding and stripping. Brilliance China spent $49.2 million to acquire the two companies from Kings Whale Holdings Ltd., headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. Brilliance China is based in Hong Kong.
EARNINGS - Code-Alarm Inc. reported a first-quarter net income of $765,000 on sales of
$13.8 million. Profits are up from the same period a year earlier, when the company earned $113,000 on sales of $15.8 million. Code-Alarm is based in Madison Heights, Mich.
CHASSIS - TRW Inc. and Krupp Hoesch Automotive have teamed up to supply chassis modules and produce steering systems for a future Chrysler vehicle. Krupp Hoesch is based in Bochum, Germany, and TRW is based in Cleveland.
STAMPING - Ford Motor Co.'s Kentucky Truck plant soon will produce many of its own body stampings. Ford will install a Schuler stamping press in a new 100,000-square-foot addition to Kentucky Truck, which is in Louisville, Ky. The building will be complete next month. The new stamping plant will employ 60 workers when production begins next year.
AFTERMARKET - JPE Inc. plans to sell all outstanding shares of its wholly owned subsidiary, Dayton Parts Inc., to an unnamed purchaser. JPE expects to close the deal next month. Dayton Parts is a leading manufacturer of undercarriage parts to the heavy-duty truck aftermarket.
WHEELS - Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. has closed on the purchase of an additional 51.1 percent of the equity of Borlem SA Empreendimentos Industriais of Brazil. The deal, announced April 30, increases Hayes' ownership of Borlem to 98.7 percent. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Hayes is based in Romulus, Mich.
Guardian Industries Inc. has contributed $1 million to support a monthlong European tour by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Guardian, of Auburn Hills, Mich., is a supplier of automotive glass and trim.
The 1998 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing has been awarded to these auto-related manufacturing firms: Freuden-berg-NOK's Manchester, N.H., Gasket Lead Center, which produces injection-molded static engine and transmission gaskets; Lear Corp.'s Winchester, Va., interior products plant, which supplies door panels, speaker grilles, quarter panels and consoles; Transmi-siones y Equipos Mecanicos, SA de CV, of Queretaro, Mexico, which supplies transmissions for high-performance vehicles such as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, Dodge Viper and AM General Hummer; and Johnson Controls' Lexington, Tenn., power seat adjuster, power recliner and broached parts plant. The Shingo prize is given out by the Utah State University's School of Business to recognize outstanding achievements in manufacturing processes that lead to quality enhancements, productivity improvements and customer satisfaction.
Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., Ford Motor Co.'s Q1 Award. Lucent provides telecommunications products and services.
Snap-on Tools Co.'s Snap-on Diagnostics division in Lincoln-shire, Ill., 1997 Supplier of the Year by Chrysler Corp.'s Pentastar Service Equipment organization. The division was honored for meeting requirements including on-time delivery, order tracking and responsiveness to customer requirements. Snap-on supplies tools and equipment for the automotive and industrial service market.
Rose Caster Corp. of Detroit and Darnell Corp. of City of Industry, Calif. The new firm, Darnell-Rose Division of Evans Industries Inc., will supply medium-and heavy-duty caster products. The division will be based in City of Industry; the Detroit location will serve as the East Coast manufacturing site. Both companies were privately held divisions of Evans Industries, headed by former American Motors CEO Robert Evans Sr.
Ballard Power Systems Inc. of Burnaby, British Columbia, a
$2.5 million contract from General Motors to supply fuel cells, related equipment and support services. GM will use the fuel cells in its research and development program for development of fuel-cell-powered electric vehicles.
Orchid International Inc. of Brent-wood, Tenn., a 44,000-square-foot seat-adjustment assembly plant in Markham, Ontario. The plant will produce more than 8 million assemblies a year, many for Meritor Light Vehicle Systems, to be used in General Motors' GMT 800 program. About 75 jobs will be created.
Visioneering Inc. of Fraser, Mich., a 20,000-square-foot plant in Coventry, United Kingdom. The factory will provide program management and engineering, and manufacture master models, assembly and inspection fixtures, molds, dies and tools.
Corning Inc. of Corning, N.Y., a $77 million catalytic converter substrate products plant in Pudong, Shanghai, China. Construction will begin late this year, and production is scheduled to begin in 2000. The substrates will be used in catalytic converters.
QS-9000: DuPont Automotive OEM Finishes, Mount Clemens and Troy, Mich.; Focus: HOPE Center for Advanced Technologies/TEC Machining, Detroit; Capstan Inland LLC, Hazen, Ark.; Motion Industries Inc., Meridian, Miss.; American Commercial Vehicles, Orrville, Ohio; Industrial Strainer Co., Plymouth, Mich.; Borse Industries LP, Willowbrook, Ill.
Champion Laboratories Inc., Albion and West Salem, Ill., and York, S.C.; Colfor Manufacturing Inc., Malvern and Minerva, Ohio; Chester Precision Co., Chester, Conn.; Atmosphere Annealing Inc., Lansing, Mich., Canton, Ohio, and North Vernon, Ind.; Alchem Aluminum Inc., Coldwater, Mich.; Atco Products Inc., Dallas; Phillips & Temro Industries Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., and Winnipeg, Manitoba; Quaker Mfg. Corp., Salem, Ohio; Williams Controls Industries Inc., Portland, Ore.
Sheldahl Inc., Britton and Aberdeen, S.D., Northfield, Minn., and Detroit; Ferro Corp.'s Filled and Reinforced Plastics Division, Evansville, Ind.; Spring Engin-eering & Manufacturing Corp., Livonia, Mich.; TWB Co. LLC, Monroe, Mich.; TRW Inc.'s Commercial Steering Division, Lafayette, Ind., Lebanon, Tenn., and Portland, Mich.; CEI Co. Ltd., Springfield, Tenn.; Delta Schoel-ler Ltd., Cheltenham and North-ampton, United Kingdom.
MultiSeal Inc., Evansville, Ind.; Romeo RIM Inc., Romeo, Mich.; HSA II Inc., Troy, Mich.; Bayer Corp. Polymers Division's Plastics businesses, Pittsburgh; Emtec Products Corp., Elyria, Ohio; Elliott Tape Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich.; Tower Automotive Inc., Bellevue, Ohio; KL Industries Inc., Chicago; Englehard Corp.'s Automotive Emissions Systems unit, Huntsville, Ala., and Iselin and Union, N.J.
ISO-9000: Rapid Design Service Inc., Troy and Northville, Mich.; Engineering Global Solutions Inc., Dearborn, Mich.
ISO-9001: Pierce Manufacturing Inc., Appleton, Wis.
ISO-9002: Century Tube Corp., Pine Bluff, Ark.; Tru-Die Inc., Franklin Park, Ill.; Thyssen Inc. N.A. TMX Division's Thyssen Specialty Steels unit, Carol Stream, Ill.; Elliott Tape Inc., El Paso, Texas.
ISO-14001: Borg-Warner Auto-motive Air/Fluid Systems plant, Dixon, Ill.