DETROIT — Federal-Mogul Lighting Products has entered into a joint manufacturing agreement with a German lighting supplier.
Southfield, Mich.-based Federal-Mogul Corp. bought the lighting-products unit in August as part of its acquisition of Cooper Automotive. Many key lighting components, including lens housings and reflectors, are molded from plastics.
One of Federal-Mogul Lighting Products' first orders of business has been to find partners to help with growth, said William Buchman, vice president of sales and marketing for Federal-Mogul Lighting, during the SAE '99 conference, held March 1-4 in Detroit.
To that end, the company formed an agreement in February with automotive supplier Ferfahrzeugelektrik GmbH of Eisenach, Germany, to produce lighting in Mexico for Volkswagen AG, Buchman said. VW is a major customer of the German supplier.
The firms jointly will make interior lighting for VW's model-year 2000 Beetle and Jetta, which the carmaker produces in Puebla, Mexico. The lighting parts will be produced at Federal-Mogul Lighting's Matamoros, Mexico, plant.
``It's a good opportunity to support the growth of both companies,'' Buchman said. ``This is an initial step by our companies to work together. It could lead to more in the future.''
Production will start at the Matamoros plant this spring. The company makes a host of other lighting products at the plant and at another Mexican facility in Juarez. Federal-Mogul Lighting has 10 plants in the United States and Mexico, with 1998 lighting sales of more than $400 million.
Federal-Mogul Lighting also is developing a new, forward-lighting module that the company unveiled at SAE '99. The module integrates a headlamp assembly into a grille-opening reinforcement, a part frequently made from sheet molding compound or other plastic resin.
That allows the possibility of attaching wiring, sensors and other parts to the module, said Jerry Anway, Federal-Mogul Lighting's director of original equipment manufacturer sales.