New UK venture for Draexlmaier
BIRMINGHAM, England - German supplier Draexlmaier GmbH is building a new 7,150-square-meter plant at an industrial park next to Rover's Longbridge plant. The 5 million (euro 7.7 million) facility at Birmingham Great Park will open in June 2000. Draexlmaier said it decided to open operations in the English west Midlands due to increased business with Rover owner BMW.
Draexlmaier develops and manufactures automotive wiring systems ranging from complete vehicle wiring systems to individual designs for engine harnesses, door trims and instrument panels.
Wagon buys door business in France
SOLIHULL, England - Engineer-ing group Wagon plc will pay 77 million (euro 119 million) for French company Aries Structures, which manufactures door systems and body structures. Aries Structures has seven plants in France and one in Italy. Its main customers are Renault, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat.
Wagon said it wants to consolidate its role as a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry, and is focusing on a limited number of areas where it could become market leader. Wagon recently bought the Blaimer pressings business in the Czech Republic and German vehicle door handle manufacturer Ymos. It has also sold some of its non-core operations.
Pirelli denies Conti alliance
MILAN - Tire and cables group Pirelli SpA has denied reports that it is in negotiations with German tire maker Continental AG. Pirelli said in a statement it was issuing the clarification 'so as not to create confusion in the marketplace.'
The move followed Italian newspaper reports that Continental Chief Executive Stefan Kessel saw Pirelli as a good potential partner, and that a tie-up between the two companies made sense both strategically and financially.
Polish factory for Pilkington
WARSAW - UK glass maker Pilkington plc has opened an auto glass plant in Sandomierz, south Poland. Production will supply local producers such as Daewoo, Fiat and Ford.
Pilkington has a 56 percent stake in the Sandomierz factory; the Polish state owns the remainder. The plant has an annual production capacity of 700,000 car glass products.
TRW Thai plant to supply Zafira
LIVONIA, Michigan - TRW Automotive is to supply modules to the Opel Zafira compact minivan from a new $500 million facility in Rayong, Thailand. TRW will produce four different chassis modules at the 3,150-square-meter plant: the front corner brake module, the front cradle/crossmember module, pedal box module and rear axle module. Production will start in May 2000. TRW also operates electronics, steering and suspension, and engine valve plants in Thailand.