LONDON - Meritor Suspension Systems Co. has spent $22 million to acquire Tempered Spring Co., an automotive suspension components manufacturer based in Sheffield, England.
Tempered Spring will be Meritor Suspension Systems' first European operation.
Tempered Spring's products include valve springs and stabilizer bars that are used in a vehicle's chassis. The company employs about 350 people.
Meritor Suspension Systems is a joint venture between Meritor Automotive Inc. of Troy, Michigan, USA, and Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing of Japan.
Terry O'Rourke, senior vice president and president of Meritor Light Vehicle Systems, said: 'Europe continues to be a key market for long-term growth of Meritor's light vehicle systems business. This acquisition shows our commitment to building the industry's most comprehensive offering of suspension systems and components.'
Meritor Automotive consists of two businesses. Heavy Vehicle Systems supplies complete drivetrain systems and components for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Light Vehicle Systems supplies roof, door, access control, suspension systems and wheel products for light trucks, passenger cars and sport-utilities.
Meritor Automotive had sales of $4.5 billion last year.
O'Rourke said the acquisition is part of Meritor's dual strategy to become a Tier 1 global supplier both in chassis components systems and in aperture systems.
Takeo Fukushima, managing director of Mitsubishi Steel, said: 'It is very exciting for Mitsubishi, together with Meritor, to develop suspension products for premier automotive markets that include Europe, North America and Japan.'
The Meritor Suspension Systems joint venture produces suspension systems and components, including coil springs, torsion bars and stabilizer bars. It supplies several North American manufacturers and exports to customers in Germany, Austria, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan and the Middle East.
Reuters News Service contributed