Siemens Automotive has continued its aggressive campaign in integrated air/fuel modules with two announced moves that will result in a $20 million capital investment by 2002.
The Auburn Hills, Mich., Tier 1 automotive supplier announced plans Aug. 13 to launch an IAF module assembly facility in Fort Shawnee, Ohio, and to purchase Ford Motor Co.'s 49 percent share of a composite intake manifold joint venture between the two companies in Telford, England. Both moves were made by Siemens' Powertrain Systems Air Induction division.
The Fort Shawnee facility primarily will serve as an assembly operation for IAF modules marketed to North American original equipment manufacturer engine plants. The 42,000-square-foot site will open in September with 50 employees. That number is expected to triple within three years.
The new site's location on the I-75 corridor, about 80 miles south of Toledo, Ohio, makes it well-suited as a receiving point for the company's air and fuel products, which are assembled into air/fuel modules for North American customers with facilities in the general region, according to a prepared statement from Siemens.
IAF modules attach such components as fuel rails, throttle bodies, air cleaner housings and resonators to plastic manifolds made of nylon 6/6. These parts previously were sold individually to automakers, which then did the assembly work.
The Fort Shawnee operation also will include injection molding machines to produce air/fuel modules as more components are integrated into the manifold body.
The volume of Siemens IAF module business is expanding at such a rate that a separate assembly plant was necessary, Siemens spokesman David Ladd said in an Aug. 14 telephone interview from Auburn Hills.
Siemens' buyout of the Ford joint venture stake in England comes three years after Siemens acquired 51 percent of the facility, which operated as Siemens Automotive Systems Ltd. Combined, Siemens' Telford and Windsor, Ontario, operations currently are contracted for more than 3 million composite intake manifolds or air/fuel module assemblies a year.
``Our market penetration in Europe and North America ... lays the groundwork for Siemens to lead the charge toward IAF module integration,'' George Perry, Siemens Automotive president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement.
Less than $10 million of the $20 million capital investment was used to purchase Ford's share of the Telford plant, according to Ladd.
Both the Fort Shawnee and Telford facilities will enhance Siemens' flexibility while improving speed to market with new IAF products, company officials said.
Siemens already has devoted $50 million in capital investments, including the installation of 28 presses and six vibration welding machines in Tilbury, Ontario, and the addition of three manufacturing cells in Windsor.
The company entered the IAF module market in 1992, targeting the cost-effective nylon 6/6 manifolds for injection molding to air-induction parts and other engine components. IAF modules, introduced in the early 1990s, are expected to reach $2 billion in annual sales by 2001, according to Siemens.
Siemens Automotive is a subsidiary of Siemens AF of Munich, Germany. The automotive group had North American sales of $2.7 billion in 1996.