Japan's economic woes are creating opportunities not only for expansion- inclined U.S. financial services providers but also for like-minded manufacturers. In the best example to date of this reality, CARRIER CORP., the world's biggest maker of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and equipment with 1997 sales of $6.1 billion, tentatively has agreed in effect to take over TOSHIBA CORP.'s HVAC business at home and abroad. On paper, however, the Japanese multinational will spin off its air conditioning equipment division, which posted FY 1997 revenues of $1.1 billion, and form a Japan-based company with Carrier. Toshiba will own 60 percent of TOSHIBA CARRIER CORP.; the UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP. subsidiary will control the balance. Carrier's TOYO CARRIER ENGINEERING CO., LTD. unit also will become part of the joint venture. It has annual sales of about $200 million. Approximately 2,200 of the 2,700 people who work in Toshiba's air conditioning equipment division will become Toshiba Carrier employees. Overseas, Toshiba will transfer its manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom to a new entity in which Carrier will have a majority interest. In Thailand, a company equally owned by Carrier and Toshiba Carrier will take over Toshiba's production venture. Finally, Carrier and Toshiba Carrier will establish sales and marketing ventures in the United Kingdom, Thailand and Malaysia in which the Farmington, Connecticut manufacturer is the majority owner. The Japanese firm's other foreign HVAC sales operations will be integrated into the American company's existing network. Carrier and Toshiba expect to finalize the deal in the first half of 1999.
As part of its strategy for doubling Japan sales by 2000, 3D SYSTEMS CORP. has introduced several new materials that expand the range of applications for its solid imaging products. For use with the high-end SLA-3500 and SLA-5000 rapid prototyping systems, the Valencia, California firm put on the market the Cibatool SL 5520 resin. It is intended for applications requiring high durability, accuracy, productivity and humidity resistance. New for the Actua 2100 3D printer are the first color materials TJ-75B (black) and TJ-75G (gray). 3D Systems' distributor, INCS CORP. of Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture, is handling the new materials. FILTER SPECIALISTS, INC., a Michigan City, Indiana maker of standard and custom liquid filtration vessels, filter bags and filter cartridges, has moved into the Japanese market. Its initial product, distributed by TOYO SHOJI KAISHA, LTD. of Osaka, is the X100. Made of polypropylene, the $345 filter housing accepts either cartridges or bags.
An exchange rate of ¥145=$1.00 was used in this report.