Nintendo, Visteon plan partnership
Visteon Automotive Systems is teaming up with video game maker Nintendo of America Inc. to reach for a bigger share of the burgeoning vehicle multimedia business. The partnership will produce the Rear Seat Entertainment System for the aftermarket. The system is built into a center console and has a videocassette player, plug-ins for video game gear, and a rear-facing, flip-up, 6.4-inch display screen. Visteon, Ford Motor Co.'s parts-making unit, said the component will be available April 1 through Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers for about $1,300. Initially, the entertainment system will be offered for the Ford Windstar and Mercury Villager.
ACQUISITION - Asha Corp. of Santa Barbara, Calif., has acquired McLaren Engines Inc., a privately held powertrain design, fabricating and testing facility. Asha agreed to pay $5 million in cash, stock and assumption of debt, for McLaren Engines of Livonia, Mich. McLaren Engines was founded in 1969 as the U.S. base for the racing team of the same name. It supplies the marine industry as well as Tier 1 suppliers.
BRAKES - LucasVarity PLC has acquired full ownership of the Autobrzdy brake manufacturing plant in Jablonec, Czech Republic. London-based LucasVarity acquired the remaining 40 percent of the business from its former joint venture partners, the Czech firm Ateso. The Autobrzdy plant's products include calipers, brake drums, rear axles, wheel cylinders and caliper pistons. The company employs 830.
ACQUISITION - General Chemical Group Inc. of Hampton, N.H., has agreed to acquire Defiance Inc. of Cleveland in a cash deal valued at about $57 million, or $9.50 a share. Defiance, a motor vehicle bearing maker, is expected to help General Chemical become a larger, more integrated supplier of engine systems and assemblies.
ACQUISITION - Federal-Mogul Corp. of Southfield, Mich., completed its acquisition of Canadian machining company Tri-Way Machine last week. The deal to acquire J.I.S Machining Ltd., a subsidiary of Tri-Way, also closed. Tri-Way employs about 200.
ACQUISITION - Schott Corp. of Yonkers, N.Y., has bought the glass header business for airbag initiators from Coors Ceramics Co. of Golden, Colo. Coors Ceramics posted sales of $300 million for fiscal 1998. Schott Corp. is the North American holding company of Schott Glas of Mainz, Germany. The new unit will be called Schott Automotive Electronic Division.
ACQUISITION - Intermet Corp. of Troy, Mich., bought Vorpom-mersche Eisenwerke GmbH Uecker- munde, an iron foundry company in eastern Germany that produces gray iron, malleable iron and ductile iron products for the automotive market. It employs 90 people and had 1998 sales of nearly 13 million marks ($7.7 million). Automaker customers include General Motors, DaimlerChrysler AG and Volks-wagen AG.
ACQUISITION - Contec Inc. of Spartanburg, S.C., bought Thun-derbolt Products Inc. of Toledo, Ohio. Thunderbolt, to be renamed Thunderbolt Products - a division of Contec Inc. - is the exclusive distributor of Contec products to the automotive industry. Those include presaturated wipers and tack cloth used in prepaint surface preparation.
CONSTRUCTION - Lighting and electronics supplier Hella KG, Hueck & Co. of Lippstadt, Germany, has built a 120,000-square-foot plant in York, S.C. The plant will produce headlamps, taillamps and interior lighting. It will be operational by midyear and employ 200 within five years.
EXPANSION - Engineering and technology company BTR PLC of London has created BTR Vehicle Controls, a global components group specializing in sensors and controls. The Raleigh, N.C.-based unit is made up of seven companies within the BTR Sensor Systems Group: FASCO Controls Corp., Electro Corp., Hobbs Corp., Clarostat Sensors and Controls, Elmwood Sensors, Fenwal and Sensym.
CONTRACT - Component supplier Siemens Automotive Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich., has hired [email protected] Inc., a Washington, D.C., public affairs firm, to provide representation and strategic counsel on automotive issues.
CONTRACT - Delco Remy America, a unit of Delco Remy International Inc., has hired RDS Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, and Powerway Inc. of Indianapolis to manage its engineering record systems. The contract is for three years; it includes converting Delco Remy America's engineering records, currently being handled manually, to an electronic imaging system.
AGREEMENT - Advance USA of Old Lyme, Conn., and GE Plastics of Pittsfield, Mass., will work together to find uses for large, structural parts manufactured with Advance's STRATA composites technology. STRATA is designed for use in large, low-cost structural parts used in the RV, heavy-truck and truck accessory markets. GE Plastics supports the engineering and specification of thermoplastic resins for the outer skin of STRATA.
QS-9000: Orchid Manufacturing Group Inc., Mount Juliet, Tenn.; Autothane, Ltd. and parent company Hyperlast Ltd., Derbyshire, United Kingdom; Armco Inc.'s specialty steel operations in Pittsburgh; Applied Hardcoating Technologies Inc., Henderson, Nev.
ISO-9001: Sealant Equipment & Engineering Inc., Plymouth, Mich.