Dana Corp. says it will be the exclusive engine sealing supplier for Tritec Motors, a joint venture between DaimlerChrysler Corp. and the BMW Group.

Five Dana divisions will provide components for Tritec Motors' 16-valve 1.6L and 1.4L engines produced in Brazil for U.S. versions of the Dodge and Plymouth Neon, and the U.K.'s Rover Mini. The deal puts Dana in a class with Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership and Federal-Mogul Corp., companies also with full engine sealing contracts.

Dana has added a new production line in Brazil to manufacture oil pan gaskets and thermoplastic cam covers for the new engines. The company says a $3.5 million investment into its sealing facilities in Gravatai, Brazil, and two years of teamwork with engineers from DCC and BMW played an instrumental role in the development of the new thermoplastic cylinder head covers.

Ward's Supplier Index
12/2/'99 % Chg.
Prev. Week
% Chg.
Yr. to Date
Ward's Index 111.1 -0.6 -9.6
DaimlerChrysler 66.3 -7.3 -38.5
Ford 50.5 -0.1 -18.2
GM 72.1 -1.1 -7.0
S&P 500 1,409.04 0.3 11.0
Note: This index is a weighted average with a 100-point base figured from 1/2/97. For details see Ward's Automotive Reports, May 3, '99, insert.
Source: Ward's/Roney Capital Markets.

Dana says the thermoplastic technology provides better sealing, reduces costs, weight and noise, makes for easier assembly and improves corrosion resistance. Dana also will supply piston rings, oil and water pump gaskets, oil seals and o-rings.

In other supplier news: Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. and partner UNIK S.A. de C.V. announce a $23 million capacity expansion at their cast aluminum wheel plant in Chihuahua, Mexico. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2001 and will increase annual production from 300,000 to 1.2 million cast aluminum wheels annually. Autoliv Inc. opens a new plant in Turkey to produce seat belts, air bags and steering wheels for the Turkish and European markets. The new $10 million plant replaces Autoliv's existing rented facility in Turkey. Delphi Automotive Systems reports it will invest $45 million to establish an air conditioning compressor facility in Brazil. The new 33,000-sq.-ft. plant is expected to have capacity for 500,000 units and employ about 150 people when production begins in the fourth quarter of 2000. ASC Inc. and Edscha Cabrio-Verdecksysteme GmbH are awarded a $260 million contract for the development and production of the complete roof system for the next generation BMW Z3 Roadster. Federal-Mogul Corp. and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. of China announce a joint venture to manufacture engine bearings, bushings, and thrust washers in China. Federal-Mogul will have a 60% interest in the new venture named Federal-Mogul Shangai Bearings Co. Ltd. Continental Teves will build a $15 million wheel speed sensor plant in Mexico. It is expected to open in first quarter 2001 making 5 million sensors annually.

The Ward's Supplier Index declined 0.6% for the week ending Dec. 2, trailing the 0.3% rise of the Standard & Poor's 500. Of the 62 companies tracked, 34 lost ground, while 28 gained. Federal-Mogul's 15.9% fall led all decliners. Gentex led all gainers with a 23.0% increase.