BorgWarner gets GM business
CHICAGO - BorgWarner TorqTransfer Systems, a division of BorgWarner Inc. of Chicago, won a contract to supply General Motors with four-wheel-drive transfer case systems for its sport-utility and light-truck platforms.
The contract, together with another four-wheel-drive contract from GM awarded earlier this year, is expected to be worth about $200 million annually.
BorgWarner TorqTransfer Systems of Sterling Heights, Mich., will design the systems. The supplier has not determined where they will be manufactured.
AMCAST LOOKS AT POSSIBLE SALE
DAYTON, Ohio - Amcast Industrial Corp. of Dayton, Ohio, has hired New York investment bankers Lehman Brothers Inc. to explore alternatives, including the sale of the company.
The supplier of cast- and tubular-metal products for the automotive industry has been hurt by its European wheel business. Its share price has declined 37 percent during the past year. The weak euro also offset improved sales, the company reported.
FEDERAL-MOGUL WINS CONTRACT
DETROIT - Federal-Mogul Corp. of Southfield, Mich., won a contract to design and manufacture its power cylinder system for an unnamed North American automaker.
The system includes a piston, piston ring, connecting rods, bearings and cylinder liners.
Federal-Mogul estimates the business will be worth about $400 million for the duration of the contract, which could last as long as 10 years.
FREUDENBERG VITECH EXPANDS
LOWELL, Mass. - Freudenberg Vitech LP invested more than $11 million to add a needlepunch line for the production of its nonwoven headliner facing at its Hopkinsville, Ky., plant.
Nonwovens are fibers that are entangled in a random pattern, then bonded together using needles. The new production line is expected to be running in the second half of 2001.
Freudenberg Vitech LP is a joint venture between nonwoven supplier Japan Vilene Co. and Freudenberg Nonwovens.
TENNECO PLANS VENTURE
LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Exhaust system supplier Tenneco Automotive Inc. plans a joint venture with Futaba Industrial Co. to produce mufflers and related parts for automakers in Japan.
The planned Futaba-Tenneco U.K. Ltd. - 51 percent owned by Futaba of Japan and 49 percent owned by Tenneco of Lake Forest, Ill. - is expected to buy the assets of Tenneco's plant in Burnley, England, for about $20 million. The plant supplies exhaust systems for Toyota Motor Corp. and others. Completion of the venture and purchase agreement is expected this year.
SUPPLIER WINS CONTRACT
DETROIT - Collins & Aikman Corp. of Troy, Mich., has won a multiyear contract to supply floor mats and carpet for the Chrysler PT Cruiser to be built in Graz, Austria.
Neither the value nor length of the agreement was disclosed, but production begins next fall for a late-year 2001 model. The mats and carpet will be manufactured at Collins & Aikman plants in Belgium and Austria and will be installed in both European left- and right-hand-drive models. It is the supplier's first business for the PT Cruiser, which also is built in Mexico for the North American market.
MCLAREN PLANS CENTER
DETROIT - McLaren Performance Technologies of Livonia, Mich., plans to open a 15,200-square-foot vehicle development center in Livonia by January.
The center will be used for concept vehicle development for Ford Racing Technology and other Ford vehicle programs. McLaren's 2000 sales were $10.4 million through August, compared with $4.86 million for full-year 1999.
DANA EXPANDS KY. PLANT
TOLEDO, Ohio - The structural products group of Dana Corp. expects to complete the expansion of its Elizabethtown, Ky., plant by mid-2001.
Dana of Toledo, Ohio, will manufacture hydroformed components in a new 156,000-square-foot building at its Elizabethtown campus. These components will be used in full frames for future models of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. The supplier will use a 115,000-square-foot expansion to a building in Elizabethtown to house paint equipment and a scrap removal system.
VISTEON, KAYABA PARTNER
DETROIT - Visteon Corp. of Dearborn, Mich., and Kayaba Industry Co. Ltd. of Japan have become partners to design and develop steering systems.
The partnership's focus includes creating a cost-effective, electronic power-assisted steering system. The alliance gives Visteon another way to expand into the Asia-Pacific market, company officials said.
TAIHO KOGYO forms foundation
TOYOTA CITY, Japan - Taiho Kogyo Co. Ltd. of Toyota City, Japan, has invested $200,000 to establish the Taiho Kogyo Tribology Research Foundation in Tiffin, Ohio.
Taiho Kogyo's foundation will award select engineers with money to further their studies in tribology, which is the science of friction, wear and lubrication of interacting parts. Applications will be accepted between Jan. 1 and March 31, with winners selected in April.
Taiho Kogyo's products include engine bearings and other under-the-hood and chassis parts.