TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Dana Corp. soon will begin supplying an independent rear suspension for the Holden Commodore in Australia as part of Dana's entry into modules in the Pacific Rim.
Dana already supplies the vehicle's front corner modules. The Toledo, Ohio, supplier is expected to produce front and rear modules for 110,000 vehicles next year, said Tom Gorman, Dana's business development director.
'This was our first foray into the Pacific Rim with modules,' he said, 'so we had to build up the infrastructure.'
Next January, Dana will build both modules at a factory it rented near Holden Ltd.'s Adelaide assembly plant, freeing up space Holden needed to add production lines. The plant already produces the front modules.
Holden did not have the space to assemble the rear suspensions, he said, so it asked Dana to do it.
The Commodore is a rear-wheel-drive sedan. Dana will supply a module that includes the differential, half shafts, wheels, brakes and hubs in a package that snaps into the bottom of the chassis.
The project also gives Dana an opportunity to expand production of differentials, Gorman said.
The venture is not yet profitable, he said, but the move was necessary: 'It's part of the cost of getting into the business in the Pacific Rim in general and Australia in particular.'
Dana currently builds corner and rear-end modules in Argentina and Brazil.