Federal-Mogul Corp. CEO Frank Macher says, despite his company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy status, the supplier is in good standing and poised to report positive third-quarter 2002 earnings.

Speaking at the opening of Federal-Mogul's new Automotive Friction Products Technical Center in Plymouth, MI, Macher says the company's Chapter 11 status, which stems from asbestos-related claims filed against it, has not disrupted business.

“In fact, we've improved delivery and performance,” he says.

Federal-Mogul received an extension for filing a reorganization plan from Nov. 1 to March 3, 2003, but Macher says the supplier actually is ahead of schedule with its restructuring.

“This extension is there so we can get the balance of these open issues resolved. There are also (asbestos) claims …coming in after March 3,” he says.

“It's very difficult with asbestos overhead to compete with companies in our lines of work who don't have that same difficulty,” continues Macher. “There now are 475,000 claims against our company because of asbestos, and I have to share with you that we know that at least 90% of those people aren't sick. It's a very frustrating process.”