Chrysler sports car feature plastic body
DETROIT — Chrysler Corp. has introduced a concept car that features a plastic body shaped into a classic sports car design.
Chrysler's Plymouth Pronto Spyder, unveiled Jan. 4 during the North American International Auto Show, features a body structure made of injection molded PET and a platinum-silver molded-in color finish.
The Spyder is based on the same PET body design as Chrysler's Composite Concept Vehicle, which it introduced in September. Both the CCV — a small, entry-level car intended for Third World countries — and the Spyder are strictly prototypes that might never reach production, Chrysler officials have said.
However, CCV is being tested for safety and durability at Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler. Other former concept cars, including the Dodge Viper and Plymouth Prowler, now are available commercially.
Chrysler estimated that the Spyder's body panels would cost as much as $8.50 a pound less than a traditional composite body attached to a steel skeleton. Like CCV and unlike other plastic car bodies in production, the Spyder's PET-based exterior does not need a steel substructure for support.
GE, Bayer choose site for PC window plant
WIXOM, MICH. — GE Plastics and Bayer Corp. announced they have selected a site in Wixom to build a joint development center to create polycarbonate automotive windows.
The companies said they will invest $25 million in the site, which will open by mid-1998. The center will start with 83 employees and two large injection presses, with 2,000 and 3,500 tons of clamping force. It also will have a coating line.
The suppliers are to receive a $5.8 million tax break, spread over 20 years, from the state of Michigan to open the site in Wixom.
In June, the resin suppliers announced a 50-50 venture to develop PC windows, which now are used only in limited applications on vehicles worldwide. The center will consider technology in resin formulations, hard-coating materials and processes to drive the PC window market as a substitute for glass.
Armstrong extends offer to buy Domco
FARNHAM, QUEBEC — Perhaps expecting a holiday miracle, Armstrong World Industries of Lancaster, Ohio, on Dec. 23 extended its offer to buy vinyl flooring competitor Domco Inc. of Farnham.
Armstrong said it would continue to offer C$26.50 (US$18.41) per share for Domco's stock through Feb. 6.
Domco's outstanding shares have been trading around C$19 on the Montreal and Toronto stock exchanges. The current offer for all Domco's shares would total C$567 million (US$393.8 million).
Armstrong also reported that two Canadian government agencies said they would not block an Armstrong/Domco deal.
One major problem stands in Armstrong's way: Domco majority shareholder Sommer Allibert of Nanterre, France, on Dec. 3 sold its 69 percent stake in the company to a new subsidiary, Tarkett Sommer AG of Frankenthal, Germany, and has no intention of selling any of its shares to Armstrong.
Armstrong contends the Tarkett Sommer transaction ``constitutes an illegal takeover of Domco,'' according to a company news release. The U.S. company is seeking to undo the deal through proceedings before the Quebec Securities Commission. The commission will reconvene those hearings Jan. 20.
Clarion to acquire Ohio injection molder
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — Clarion House Inc. said Dec. 22 it has a definitive agreement to acquire Triangle Plastics Inc., a custom injection molder in Montpelier, Ohio. The pact calls for Clarion to issue 250,000 shares of common stock in exchange for all shares of Triangle's common stock held by the firm's sole shareholder, Michael Moore.
Moore, who is to remain as president of Triangle, declined Dec. 24 to provide any details of the transaction and referred calls to Clarion's Schaumburg headquarters. Attempts to reach a Clarion spokesman were unsuccessful.
Clarion President Brian Manoogian said in a prepared statement that Triangle will get a new management team to provide the ``industry experience and leadership necessary for the growth of Triangle's business and future acquisitions by Clarion."
Triangle recorded 1996 sales of about $3 million, according to the statement.