PARIS - Valeo plans to expand its electronic sales by 20 percent a year over the next five years. Electronics sales accounted for FF1.5 billion ($250 million) of Valeo's 1997 sales of FF34 billion.
Valeo will increase capacities in its Meung-sur-Loire, France, plant and build new facilities in Brazil and the USA to supply Volkswagen and GM.
The $10 million US plant will be Valeo's first electronics plant in the USA, said Claude Leichle, the electronics branch vice president. Production will start by 2002.
It will provide body controllers to equip GM Delta platform vehicles. Located in the dashboard, body controllers are computers that control functions in the passenger compartment, such as lighting, indicators, side-view mirrors and warnings.
By 2000, Valeo plans to have spent FF200 million to expand capacity at Meung-sur-Loire from 2.7 million electronic components a day now to 4 million a day.
'In Meung, we plan to improve quality by a factor of 10 every year, to slash costs by 10-15 percent annually and to launch two new products every month,' said Jean-Bernard Patin, the electronic systems division manager.