Roof and door specialist Meritor Automotive Inc. has sold its Light Vehicle Systems sun-visor business for an undisclosed sum.
Grupo Antolin-Irausa SA's new French unit Grupo Antolin-Vosges SAS purchased the operation, based in Rupt-sur-Moselle, France. It employs about 180 people.
Meritor said the sale was in line with its strategy of selling non-core operations. Meritor wants to grow its business in the door, access control and roof systems areas, as well as suspensions, wheels, corner modules and other components.
Grupo Antolin said the acquisition consolidated its position as a leading European supplier of headliners. Grupo Antolin, based in Spain, has sales of euro 549 million for its 1999 financial year and has a work force of 5,000 in 46 factories.
Damian Gordo, Grupo Antolin's commercial director and chief executive for its North American operations, said: 'Acquiring Meritor's sun-visor business enables Grupo Antolin to enhance its position as the largest supplier in Europe of highly functional, low cost, modular headliner components.'
Meritor is a global supplier of a broad range of components and systems for commercial, specialty and light vehicles. Its business is organized into two divisions: Light Vehicle Systems, which supplies roofs, doors, access control and suspension systems; and Heavy Vehicle Systems, which produces drivetrain systems and components for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
Meritor is based in Troy, Michigan, USA. It had sales of $4.5 billion in 1999.
In a parallel move, Autoroofs UK Ltd. has been appointed the sole distributor of Meritor's entire aftermarket sunroof product line. Autoroofs' responsibilities include sales and marketing, inventory, technical support, warranty claims, order entry and receivables collection.
Autoroofs, based in Leicester, England, has been in the sunroof business for over 15 years.
'Autoroofs' dedicated approach to developing both existing and expanding customer markets is what helped spur this decision,' said John Sotiroff, director of product marketing at Meritor Roof Systems, one of the Light Vehicle Systems businesses. 'Autoroofs has also made a significant investment in infrastructure and inventory, which strongly supports their ability to accommodate worldwide distribution needs.'