Dana Corp.'s Automotive Components Group (ACG), one of four groups formed last October to focus more intensely on specific product lines, has staked out modules as a key area for global growth.

ACG, which includes Dana's Spicer and Parish divisions, is largest of the four groups with annual volume totaling $4 billion. That includes $2 billion in light axles, $1.3 billion in drivelines and the remainder in frames and modular assemblies.

The other three groups are responsible for engine, heavy-duty and off-highway components.

ACG President Bill Carroll tells WAW in an interview during the SAE Congress that Dana will begin delivering rolling chassis modules just-in-time to Chrysler Corp.'s new Dodge Dakota pickup assembly plant in Brazil starting in June from a new facility located two miles away.

The chassis includes the frame, axles, drivelines, wheels and tires, fuel tanks and what he calls "the plumbing." Dana's Brazilian factories produce the axles and drivelines, with local and foreign manufacturers supplying other pieces.

"We'll manage the (chassis) supplier base," says Mr. Carroll, with all of the components specified by Chrysler. Some 100 suppliers are involved, he says.

"We're working on chassis modules for both South and North America, and we see 50 to 60 new opportunities around the world for modules in general," he says.

Dana ACG, for example, is working with Volkswagen AG in Brazil and Argentina to supply so-called "corner modules" consisting of struts, springs, wheel ends and axle shafts and, eventually, brake components.