TOKYO -- American parts makers might want to borrow a page from the Asian playbook of one of their own ranks.
To offset slowing sales, exhaust system supplier Tenneco Inc. has begun an all out effort to boost business to Japanese and Korean carmakers. The supplier is:
- Devoting more management attention to Asian automakers
- Hiring more engineers in Japan
- Bolstering existing partnerships in the region, as well as considering new ones
The company even may add a plant in Japan.
"We are extremely focused on JOE-KOE," Tenneco CEO Mark Frissora told Automotive News March 6 while he was visiting Japan. "It's probably the No. 1 strategy" at the company today.
JOE-KOE stands for Japanese OE business and Korean OE business. Tenneco, of Lake Forest, Ill., makes ride-control and suspension parts, including shock absorbers, and emissions controls. It ranks No. 43 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $3.22 billion in 2004.