Lear forms seat joint venture
DETROIT - Lear Corp. of Southfield, Mich., formed a joint venture with Japanese seat and door panel supplier Takashimaya Nippatsu Kogyo Co. Ltd.
The joint venture, Total Interior Systems-America, already has a contract to supply Toyota Motor Manufacturing's Indiana plant with seating systems for the Toyota Sienna minivan. Production will begin in 2003. Contract terms were not disclosed.
Total Interior Systems-America will manufacture the Sienna's seating systems from its plant in Princeton, Ind.
SERVICE TOUTS PRODUCTS
DETROIT - Federal-Mogul Corp. on Nov. 1 launched an aftermarket Internet service called Fmeconnect.
The service, accessible via Federal-Mogul's corporate Web site, includes product information and technical bulletins. Since its launch, the site has averaged 5,400 hits per day.
Federal-Mogul, of Southfield, Mich., is developing a similar Web site for its European aftermarket customers.
JCI FORMS NEW UNIT
LAS VEGAS - Johnson Controls Inc. created a new business unit, called the Specialty Products Group, to develop automotive interior accessories to be sold at dealerships and specialty retail stores.
Initially, the two products JCI plans to sell are its CargoMax rear-cargo organizer and its PSI mirror. The rearview mirror includes a sensor that detects low tire pressure. CargoMax already is sold through Nissan and Saab dealerships. The PSI mirror will be available January.
The specialty products group will work from JCI automotive systems group's headquarters in Plymouth, Mich.
ARVINMERITOR CUTS STAFF
DETROIT - ArvinMeritor Inc. of Troy, Mich., laid off about 240 of its salaried employees and eliminated 100 positions that were not filled or were filled by contract workers.
The layoffs were limited to the company's commercial vehicle systems division. Most were in North America.
The work force reductions - in addition to lowering travel expenses, limiting overtime and other cost-cutting measures - are part of ArvinMeritor's goal to cut 16 percent of its costs from its commercial vehicle systems division.
ArvinMeritor also will cut about 1,500 jobs globally. A time frame has not been announced. These cuts will result in a pre-tax charge of about $90 million against first quarter 2001 earnings, and a reduction of pre-tax operating costs by about $25 million in fiscal 2001. The company's first quarter began Oct. 1.