Internet auctions save Delphi $58 million
DETROIT - Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. of Troy, Mich., reported saving $58 million while paying about $370 million in parts and materials via online auctions.
Delphi Chairman J.T. Battenberg told Bloomberg News he found online auctions efficient for buying commodities. 'We found it much more difficult to do highly sophisticated electronics systems,' he said. Battenberg said Delphi's highest-growth business was mobile multimedia electronics, which booked orders of $2.5 billion last year. Delphi had 1999 sales of $29.2 billion.
BLAST KILLS ONE; 2 MISSING
DETROIT - Intermet Corp., a major supplier of cast-iron automotive parts, said one person was dead, several were injured and two others are missing and assumed dead from an explosion at its plant in Radford, Va.
The Troy, Mich., company said it did not know the source of the blast at its New River Castings plant Sunday, March 5. The plant employs about 500.
DENSO, MICROSOFT TEAM
TOKYO - Denso Corp. and Microsoft Corp. said they are jointly developing car navigation devices and intelligent transportation systems.
The two companies plan to create car systems and devices based on Microsoft's Windows CE.
KAHN TO DESIGN PLANT
DETROIT - AM General Corp. has selected Albert Kahn Associates Inc. of Detroit to provide program manager and architect/engineering services for its Hummer H2 assembly operation in Mishawaka, Ind.
Work at the 96-acre site will begin in May. AM General of South Bend, Ind., and General Motors have made an agreement to produce a new sport-utility called the Hummer H2.
BORG-WARNER ADDS R&D
CHICAGO - BorgWarner Automotive Inc. plans to build a technology center in Auburn Hills, Mich., its 10th such center.
It is expected to house 425 employees from three business groups: Air/Fluid Systems; TorqTransfer Systems; and engineering, research and development, and sales and marketing. BorgWarner of Chicago is a supplier of transmission and powertrain assemblies.
VALEO PLANS IRAN VENTURE
PARIS - Valeo SA has agreed to create a climate-control supplier company in Iran through a joint venture with an Iranian supplier. Valeo would own 34 percent of Iran Radiator but could increase its share to 51 percent.
Valeo plans to partner with Iran Khodro, Iran's largest automotive manufacturer.
The venture could achieve sales of about $60 million in three years for Paris company Valeo, a supplier of engine-cooling modules, heating, air conditioning and other components.
AVL ADDING CAPACITY
DETROIT - AVL Powertrain Engineering Inc. plans to add capacity to its Plymouth, Mich., operation to increase the scope of its internal combustion engine-testing business.
The expansion will give the company the capacity for seven engine test cells and a vehicle emissions chassis roll chamber. The larger building will accommodate an engineering staff of up to 100.
GKN TO OPEN BRAZIL PLANT
DETROIT - GKN Sinter Metals has bought a 15-acre parcel of land in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to build a 97,000-square-foot plant. Groundbreaking is scheduled for later this month.
GKN CEO Seifi Ghasemi said the decision to build was dictated by a need to be close to customers and to offer options for other customers who import into Brazil.
The plant will produce components and assemblies with applications for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.
GKN will use 20- to 500-ton compacting presses; sintering, steam, heat treatment and plasma furnaces; 20- to 500-ton sizing presses and secondary machining equipment for turning, grinding, drilling, taping and welding.
The plant is expected to open in December.
EXIDE ANNOUNCES LAYOFFS
READING, Pa. - Exide Corp. will lay off as many as 100 hourly and salaried workers at its plant in Laureldale, Pa., as early as June 1.
The workers make aftermarket automotive batteries.
The reduction comes in the wake of abnormally warm weather and reduced demand for automotive batteries. Approximately 60 workers will remain in the manufacturing operations at Laureldale.
Earlier this year, Exide laid off 58 workers from the same plant and has rehired 15 to work in the smelting and distribution operations at the same location. More than 200 employees work in those operations.
Timken to shed 600 more jobs
CANTON, Ohio - Timken Co., the world's largest supplier of tapered roller bearings, said it would cut 600 jobs as part of its restructuring and take a $55 million pretax charge.
The supplier also plans to shift some manufacturing to Eastern Europe from Western Europe. The company said it will refocus its Dustin, England, manufacturing plant to bearing production.
The company has cut 1,700 jobs as part of its restructuring over the past 18 months. About 50 percent of the company's $2.5 billion in sales last year were to the auto industry.