Oxford to acquire stamper
Oxford Automotive Inc. signed an agreement to purchase Cofimeta Group, a stampings supplier with plants in Douai, St. Florent and Orbec, France, for undisclosed terms. Oxford, based Troy, Mich., said it expected to close the deal in January. Cofimeta, a unit of Groupe Valfond of Paris, had sales of $200 million in 1997, and employs 1,600 people. The stamper's main customers are Renault, Peugeot and Citroen.
FILTERS - Dana Corp. acquired the filtration manufacturing operation of Delphi Energy & Engine Management Systems U.K. Overseas Corp. of Southampton, England, for undisclosed terms. The Delphi business, which makes oil, air, fuel and panel filters, had 1997 sales of $50 million, and employs 450 people. Dana, which is based in Toledo, Ohio, said the acquisition expands its European base of filtration businesses, including Quinton Hazell in England and Wix Filtron in Poland.
NAVIGATION - A new joint venture between Hertz Corp. of Park Ridge, N.J., and Magellan Corp. of San Dimas, Calif., will place new Magellan satellite navigation systems in 50,000 Hertz cars next summer in the United States, Europe and Canada. The venture will purchase, install, maintain and market the systems under the NeverLost brand. The equipment will feature improved graphics over Hertz's current NeverLost navigation systems, introduced in 1995.
BRAKES - LucasVarity PLC reported a 21 percent gain in third-quarter profits in its Braking Systems unit. It attributed the gain to a new contract to supply Honda in North America for the first time, and the 1998 acquisition of South America's largest brake company, Freios Varga of Brazil. Operating profits for the unit rose from $62 million in third quarter of 1997 to $75 million in the third quarter of 1998.
ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS - Fife Electric Co. of Novi, Mich., has signed a contract to be the sole electrical-equipment supplier to Ford Motor Co.'s Rouge complex in Dearborn, Mich. The deal is expected to generate $12 million in annual sales. Fife, a distributor of electronic products for manufacturing plants and construction companies, will supply Ford with fuses, lighting, lamps, wiring cable and other electrical products for the automaker's six plants in the Rouge complex. Douglas Venable, who acquired a controlling interest in Fife in August, said he believes Fife Electric is the largest minority-owned electrical distributor in the United States.
EXPANSION - Gentex Corp. plans to add a $12 million mirror manufacturing plant in Zeeland, Mich. The 170,000-square-foot plant is expected to create up to 500 jobs and nearly double Gentex's 7 million-unit annual capacity. It is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2000.
EXPANSION - Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. plans a $20 million addition to its engine plant in Buffalo, W.Va. The 315,000-square-foot expansion is to be completed in March. When finished, the plant is expected to produce 500,000 engines annually.
CONSTRUCTION - Autoliv Inc. of Stockholm plans a $5 million seat belt webbing plant in Taubate, Brazil. The 37,800-square-foot plant will be a unit of Autoliv do Brazil Ltda. and be managed by Autoliv subsidiary Van Oerle Alberton BV. Operations are expected to begin in mid-1999.
ACQUISITION - Eaton Corp. of Cleveland has acquired TGM Automotiva Ltda., a manufacturer of automotive sensors, switches and lighting products in Sao Paulo, Brazil. TGM employs 88 people and had 1997 sales of $9 million. Major customers include Fiat and Volkswagen. TGM will become part of Eaton's Automotive Group.
ACQUISITION - Alternative Fuel Systems Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, has acquired the gas regulator division of Sherex Industries Ltd. of Burlington, Ontario. Alternative Fuel Systems will assume Sherex's regulator customer base, which includes Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, Deere & Co. and Freightliner Corp. The acquisition is expected to generate an additional $3.5 million in sales for Alternative Fuel Systems in 1999.
ACQUISITION - FabriSteel Products Inc. of Southfield, Mich., has acquired the pierce fastener segment of Tolwood Multifastener Ltd. of Newton Aycliffe, England. The new business will be called FabriSteel Products Ltd. and will be based in Newton Aycliffe.
NAME CHANGE - Eaton Corp. has dropped the Spicer clutch brand name in favor of the name Eaton Fuller clutches. The Spicer name was used by Dana Corp. for more than 50 years. Eaton bought Dana's clutch division in August 1997.
QS-9000: Queen City Steel Treating Co., Cincinnati; Borg-Warner Automotive Powertrain Systems, Livonia, Mich; Borg-Warner Automotive Automatic Transmission Systems: Coldwater, Mich., and Gallipolis, Ohio; Borg-Warner Automotive/Air Fluid Sys-tems: all operations; Knowlton Nonwovens Inc., Utica, N.Y.
ISO-9001: Orchid International Automation & Robotics Division, Cambridge, Ontario; Borg-Warner Automotive Automatic Transmis-sion Systems Advanced Technology Center, Lombard, Ill.; DCT Inc., Warren, Mich.
ISO-14001: Autoliv Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich., technical center; Borg-Warner Automotive Automatic Transmission Systems, Ketsch, Germany.