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Federal-Mogul moves for BorgWarner’s spark plug business

Federal-Mogul has confirmed that it plans to purchase the BERU spark plug business from BorgWarner. The transaction, which is pending customary closing conditions and consultations, includes the spark plug manufacturing sites at Chazelles sur Lyon, France and Neuhaus, Germany. The acquired units will add approximately US$80 million annualized sales and increase Federal-Mogul’s annual spark plug production capacity to more than 350 million per year. The two locations employ approximately 500 personnel.

“The spark plug is a core technology in automotive powertrains. Spark ignition engines are forecasted to remain the dominant ignition technology for the foreseeable future and we intend to be a leader in this market,” said Rainer Jueckstock, Federal-Mogul OE Division CEO.

“Spark plug innovations are key enablers to engine downsizing, turbocharging and other fuel economy and emissions reduction strategies for today and in the future. Our developments are fundamental to increasing spark energy, improving temperature resistance, enhancing durability and reducing packaging size. We are utilizing precious metal electrode designs and specially formulated ceramic insulators to achieve smaller diameter and higher performance spark plugs to meet demanding market requirements. We believe spark plug innovations to enable greater engine efficiency, combined with strong growth forecasts for the global engine market presents an attractive long-term market opportunity for Federal-Mogul,” he said.

Jueckstock added: “The newly acquired sites currently manufacture a strong product line of BERU branded spark plugs sold to European original equipment manufacturers and the automotive aftermarket. With our expanded presence, we expect to continue to serve new and existing Federal-Mogul customers with an even stronger portfolio of industry leading spark plugs and ignition products covering one of the widest ranges of engine applications in the business.”

Federal-Mogul will integrate the acquired facilities along with related technical and commercial resources into its global ignition business, which includes the well-known Champion ignition product line.

Federal-Mogul’s ignition business has continued to grow in original equipment, industrial and aftermarket segments, especially in the last five years, as the company has introduced new spark plug designs featuring platinum and iridium electrodes, high-energy insulators and smaller diameter plug bodies. For commercial and industrial engines, Federal-Mogul has launched a line of specially designed spark plugs capable of burning a wide variety of alternative fuels. The company has also introduced an innovative Advanced Corona Ignition System (ACIS) that is expected to help automakers improve fuel economy and reduce emissions by enabling combustion of previously unattainable levels of lean and highly-diluted fuel mixtures. ACIS is a future specialized ignition technology for highly-loaded engines and will be positioned along with conventional and premium spark plugs as part of Federal-Mogul’s core portfolio of engine technologies serving the global powertrain market.

“We look forward to integrating the newly acquired product lines and manufacturing systems and to present our expanded portfolio of products and capabilities to customers. The global spark plug market will remain a key driver for long-term Federal-Mogul profitable growth,” said Jueckstock. 

4 July 2012


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