With plants at full capacity due to high demand for their products from strong automaker production, several suppliers end 1994 with record sales and profits.

A.O. Smith Corp. announces that its 1994 per share earnings of $2.08 are a corporate record stemming from $1.36 billion in sales and net income of $57 million.

"The economy and excellent performance has had a positive impact on our business, especially in the automotive and electric motor markets," says Robert J. O'Toole, chairman and CEO of A.O. Smith. "It now appears that we will set back-to-back earnings records for the first time in 15 years."

TRW Inc. also reports its best earnings per share, net earnings and sales records in 1994, thanks to the boom in automotive safety systems. Sales exceeded $9 billion for the first time, increasing 14.3% vs. 1993. Net earnings were $534.5 million compared with $359.1 million in '93, and per-share earnings reached $1.94, up from $1.88 last year.

"TRW's exceptional performance for the year was paced by our worldwide occupant restraints and steering-systems businesses," says Joseph T. Gorman, TRW's chairman and CEO. "Our automotive businesses produced volume gains in all major product lines in North America and Europe."

"North American automotive production has been strong for the past two years and it is expected to increase again in 1995," says Kenneth LaGrand, executive vice president at Gentex Corp., which also posted record sales of $89.8 million, net income of $16.5 million and earnings-per-share of 97 cents. Last year Gentex reported revenues of $63.7 million, net income of $9.8 million and made 59 cents per share for its stockholders.

Detroit Diesel Corp., equaling Chairman Roger Penske's Indycar success, set new company sales and earnings standards in 1994. Detroit Diesel posts sales of $1.66 billion and $36.1 million in earnings.

Eaton Corp. explains its sales, net income and earnings-per-share records in 1994 with strong markets and the largest acquisition in the company's history. Eaton's sales topped the $6.1 billion level for the first time while net income was $333 million, or $4.40 per share. These results compare with 1993 sales of $4.4 billion, net income of $173 million and earnings of $2.47 per share. The company bought the distribution and control business unit of Westinghouse Electric Corp. in January of 1994.

Despite the fact that Arvin Industries Inc. shows a loss of $17.4 million in 1994, the company had record sales of $2.04 billion and operational earnings of $41.5 million. The loss stems from a restructuring charge of $58.9 million.

Federal-Mogul Corp. shows a 58% earnings improvement from the previous period. The company made $63.3 million in '94 compared with $40.1 million in 1993. Net sales totaled nearly $1.9 billion, an increase of $320 million over the previous year. This reflects the full-year impact of the addition of the SPR aftermarket business and the addition of Varex Corp., the company's recent South African acquisition. "Global original equipment sales grew 18.5%, reflecting the strength in North American auto and light- truck build on a year-to-year basis," says Federal-Mogul Chairman & CEO Dennis J. Gormley.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. sales reached $12.3 billion, 5.5% higher than the $11.6 billion in 1993, as every geographic region registered record tire unit sales.

Although reporting a 16% increase in 1994 sales from 1993 ($1.7 billion vs. $1.51 billion), Budd Co. Chairman Siegfried Buschmann says results could have been better. "Some areas of our business suffered from capacity constraints, which will be remedied by our $100-million program announced in December to provide additional production capacity," he says.