JCI to build more batteries for Sears
Johnson Controls Inc., which has built batteries for Sears, Roebuck and Co. since 1977, has been selected to supply all batteries for two of the retailer's top-selling brands. The additional Sears volume is expected to strengthen Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls' position as the largest North American battery manufacturer.
ALUMINUM - Alcan Aluminum Ltd. of Montreal plans to expand its production of aluminum rolled sheet for automotive exterior body panels and other uses with a $46 mil-lion expansion at its Kingston, Ontario, plant. Construction is expected to be complete next year.
ACQUISITION - Venture Holdings Trust of Fraser, Mich., plans to buy Kloeckner-Werke AG's car-parts group for $473 million as part of an expansion into Europe. Venture gains access to customers of Kloeckner's Peguform unit, including Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and France's Renault SA.
JOINT VENTURE - Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. seeks joint ventures with Mando Machinery Corp., a unit of Hyundai Motor Co., and several other South Korean companies, according to Bloomberg News Service. Delphi seeks to strengthen is production and marketing network.
TECH CENTER - Visteon Automotive Systems has opened a sales and technical center in Coventry, England, to be closer to the British auto industry. The Dearborn, Mich.-based supplier now operates 11 such centers.
FILTERS - Arvin Industries Inc. of Columbus, Ind., has completed its buyout of the Purolator Products automotive filter business from Mark IV Industries Inc. Arvin paid $276 million for the Tulsa, Okla.-based Purolator division, which had sales of $345 million.
EXPANSION - Dana Corp. of Toledo, Ohio, plans to consolidate some of its technical operations with its planned Automotive Customer Support Center to be built this year in Farmington Hills, Mich.
SWITCHES - Stoneridge Inc., a Warren, Ohio, manufacturer of automotive switches, has acquired Delta Schoeller, a United Kingdom automotive switch maker. Delta Schoeller employed 500 at two plants and posted sales last year of $31 million.
CONTRACT - The Plumley Division of Dana Corp. of Toledo, Ohio, will supply the cam cover modules for two Jaguar engines. The new AJ-V6 and the AJ-V8 will be used in the 2000 Jaguar S-Type.
OPENING - Omron Automotive Group of Farmington Hills, Mich., has opened an 85,000-square-foot switch/electrical control unit center in Oakville, Ontario. The center houses manufacturing, design, testing and support functions. The plant supplies switch assemblies for power seats, power windows, instrument panels, moon roof limit switches and other micro switch-based assemblies. Omron Automotive Group is a unit of Omron Corp. of Kyoto, Japan.
ACQUISITION - Motion Industries Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., has acquired Lou's Bearings and Transmission Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario. Lou's, which provides bearings and transmission components, also has locations in Guelph, Cambridge, London and Sarnia, Ontario. Motion Industries distributes bearings, hose products, and mechanical, electrical and fluid power transmission equipment. It is a unit of Genuine Parts Co.
HONORS - The Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster team has received a 1998 Chrysler Corp. CHEER, or Chrysler Honors Environmental Excellence with Recognition, award. Suppliers on the team include staff from German-based BASF AG's Mount Olive, N.J., office; Eurotech of Troy, Mich.; Philip Services Corp. of Hamilton, Ontario; and Magna International of Aurora, Ontario. The team used chemically recycled polyurethane that contained 25 percent reclaimed polyol from scrap automobile fascias. The material was used in the 1998 Viper's left and right roof rails. The Viper is assembled at DaimlerChrysler's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.
HONORS - Dana Corp.'s Russellville, Ark., camshaft operation has received the Arkansas Quality Award program's Quality Achievement Award. The award program examines local companies using the same criteria as the national Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award program. The 10-year-old Dana plant employs advanced technologies for cam grinding and heat treatment. It has earned ISO-9002 and QS-9000 certification.
HONORS - O'Sullivan Corp. has received a 1998 Leadership Award from Prince/Johnson Controls Inc., as Soft Trim Supplier of the Year. O'Sullivan, of Winchester, Va., manufactures flexible vinyl and olefin sheeting that can be embossed, laminated, printed, painted, polished, vacuum formed and die cut.
WEB SEARCH ENGINE - Automotive consulting company ZAP Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich., has developed Supplier Scout.com, an Internet search engine dedicated to the automotive supplier industry. Supplier Scout has 3,500 profiles of North American and European companies searchable by product and company name.
CERTIFICATION - Quality registrar Underwriters Laboratories Inc. of Northbrook, Ill., has been accredited to provide systems audits to VDA 6.1 by the Verband Der Automobilindustrie E.V. (VDA), a trade association for German automakers. The certification gives U.S.-based suppliers access to registration accepted by major German vehicle makers.