DETROIT - For fledgling supplier Microheat Inc., business is starting to simmer.
The Farmington Hills, Mich., startup is preparing to fulfill its first original equipment contract for its only product: HotShot, a device that heats windshield wiper fluid. The contract is with General Motors, which will put HotShot in select cars and trucks in 2005.
With the five-year GM contract, Microheat expects to have $20 million in annual sales starting in 2005. Microheat executives expect the company to start making a profit by 2006.
Combined with expected business from other automakers, the 80-person company thinks it will have purchase orders for $70 million a year starting in 2007.
Microheat worked with GM engineers for five years to test and develop HotShot for use in GM vehicles, says Asher Segev, senior vice president.
GM is the only automaker that has placed an order for HotShot, but Microheat says more than 20 others, including DaimlerChrysler AG and Toyota, are testing the device. In addition, a European automaker plans to put HotShot in a future SUV, according to Microheat.