The first TRW INC. engineering center in Asia to support all of the big automotive parts maker's varied product lines will be located in Japan. The site selection process will be completed by the end of this year, with the facility opening in the second half of 1999 and becoming fully operational by 2001. The center, which will add about 50 people to TRW's in-country sales and engineering staff, will house computer-aided design and engineering operations, communications, test and evaluation facilities, a laboratory and prototype production capabilities. TRW is the world's largest provider of occupant-restraint systems. It also is a leading manufacturer of engine valves, valve train components and valve train systems as well as of electronic safety, security and convenience systems. The four existing TRW marketing and engineering offices in Japan, all located in proximity to customers, will remain in operation.
By 2003, MERITOR AUTOMOTIVE INC. hopes to double its 1997 Japan sales of $21.2 million. The former automotive operations of ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL CORP. will expand the range of products made at its Hiroshima plant, which has been in operation since 1993. The lineup now includes sunroofs and actuators for supply to MAZDA MOTOR CORP. and a FORD MOTOR CO. plant in Australia. Beginning in May 1999, the Troy, Michigan company will add currently imported window regulators to the plant's output. Other parts for local production also are under consideration..
An exchange rate of ¥135=$1.00 was used in this report.