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Coretalk: Clevite Aftermarket Sale To Mahle Group Approved by Court

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Nearly a year and a half after Dana Corporation announced plans to divest its engine parts operations, the deal is complete. The $98 million sale to the MAHLE Group of Germany has been approved by European Union (EU) regulators. EU commission officials said the purchase didn’t pose antitrust concerns, and Dana has said the sale is expected to close within a month.

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The new company will now be known as MAHLE Clevite, Inc.

According to a company spokesman, the Dana units involved in the sale include all Perfect Circle plants world-wide, all Glacier Vandervell plants world-wide and a long-term marketing agreement with Dana allowing Victor Reinz gaskets to be sold and marketed in North America by the new company. No gasket manufacturing was a part of the sale.

MAHLE has grown into a worldwide industry leader with annual sales topping $5.2 billion ($4 billion euro) and over 37,000 employees. Core product areas for MAHLE are pistons, cylinder components, valve train, and both air and liquid management. A worldwide leader in piston technology, MAHLE is a supplier of racing pistons to most of the European circuits including Formula 1 as well as forays into NASCAR.

Dana filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code a year ago. The company has been seeking a buyer for the engine-parts business since late 2005.

BERCO Names Joe Baker As North American Distributor

BERCO S.p.A. of Copparo, Italy (www.berco.com) has named Joe Baker Equipment Sales in Cincinnati Ohio (www.joebakerequipsales.com) Berco’s USA and Canadian dealer for traditional engine rebuilding equipment and spare parts.

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Joe Baker has employed former Peterson Machine Tool warehouse employee Ken Slicer to ensure that Berco machine owners will have continued spare parts availability.

Lyle Haley, The Shop Doc, in Andover, MN, (www.shopdoc.biz) has been appointed Berco’s U.S. and Canadian agent for the Lynx2000 and Lynx2500 CNC orbital grinders for crankshafts, camshafts and roll grinding.

Elgin Industries Receives ISO/TS 16949 Quality Certificate For Manufacturing, Heat-Treat Services

Elgin Industries has received its certificate of registration for the ISO/TS 16949:2002 Quality Management System, a sophisticated process quality benchmark that places the company among the world’s leading manufacturers of original equipment and replacement components.
Elgin, an OE supplier to many vehicle manufacturers, received its latest quality registration for the production of internal engine and chassis components and its full suite of heat -treat services. The company also is registered to the ISO 9001:2000 standard and several OEM-specific quality benchmarks.

ISO/TS16949, which has effectively replaced the North American-based QS9000 standard, promotes continuous improvement in product design and development, production, defect prevention and customer services.

“Achieving registration to this standard requires a commitment to process improvement by virtually everyone within a manufacturing organization. Our team embraced this challenge with the same energy that has enabled us to meet and exceed many of the most stringent quality standards established by our original equipment and aftermarket customers,” said Elgin President William Skok.

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Founded in 1919, Elgin Industries also operates one of North America’s most sophisticated heat-treat facilities, offering carbonitriding, carburizing, neutral hardening and other services to OE and aftermarket manufacturers. Elgin’s manufacturing and headquarters operations are located in Elgin, IL.

Senate Energy Committee Hears Testimony From Car Companies Regarding Fuel Consumption

Despite the millions of dollars being spent on research on fuel efficiency and new technologies, there are no easy answers to reducing fuel consumption by light-duty vehicles and trucks, according to a witness at a hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Jan. 30, reports AAIA Capital.

A representative for General Motors Corporation (GM) testified at the hearing that the company is focusing on electricity as the key technology of the future. Specifically, the car company spokesman pointed to plug-in hybrids as having great potential but being not commercially viable due to lagging battery technology. In addition, GM has more than two million E-85 vehicles on the road capable of operating on 85 percent ethanol, and the company is committed to doubling its annual production to one million. However, there are currently only 1,000 E-85 pumps nationwide, thus limiting the usefulness of flexible fuel vehicles.

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While GM did not commit to supporting an increase in corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, Honda testified in strong support of a higher fuel economy standard. John German, environmental and energy analysis for American Honda, stated that Congress should develop performance-based incentives that would stimulate the purchase of new vehicles. If technology over the past two decades had been directed solely into fuel economy and the nation’s cars were still at the 1981 level of weight and performance, then passenger car fuel economy would be almost 38 miles per gallon instead of the current level of 28.1 miles per gallon, according to German. Honda is focusing on the development of fuel cells and hydrogen in order to address climate change and energy security.

Walter McManus at the University of Michigan criticized the car companies for ignoring the public’s desire for more fuel-efficient vehicles. The shift of consumers to smaller and more efficient vehicles is costing Detroit close to $25 billion in losses and thousands of jobs as the market for big cars and trucks plummeted.

According to a report presented by the Civil Society Institute (CSI) think tank at another hearing in Washington, the number of vehicle models sold in the U.S. that get more than 40 miles per gallon (MPG) has dropped from 2005 levels, even as the ranks of highly fuel-efficient vehicles sold overseas – but not available to U.S. consumers – is growing rapidly and now is well into the three-digit range.

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A new CSI/40MPG.org national opinion poll released at the same time showed that there is an unsatisfied market of millions of Americans who want highly fuel-efficient vehicles but have been frustrated in their attempts to get them. The survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) also shows that strong majorities of Americans want Congress to exercise leadership on higher fuel-efficiency standards and other steps to reduce energy conservation and reduce the vehicle pollution linked to global warming. For information on the results of this survey, visit www.40mpg.org and www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org.

Four Ways To Promote Car Care Awareness During Car Care Month

Everyone knows that it’s easier to keep a customer than to make a customer. National Car Care Month (April) and Fall Car Care Month (October) help service repair facilities do both by reminding motorists to Be Car Care Aware.

Proactive shops use the Be Car Care Aware consumer education campaign to teach the importance of keeping a well-maintained vehicle. The ideas of safety, dependability and return on investment appeal to almost everyone. The campaign is helpful in several ways, including the Service Interval Schedule (available in English and Spanish), the Car Care Guide, a Car Care Clinic Manual and a Vehicle Check Up Event Planner.

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  • The Service Interval Schedule is available at www.carcare.org/service_schedule.shtml. It can be downloaded free of charge and printed as a handout during National Car Care Month and throughout the year.

  • The 56-page Car Care Guide covers nine major service occasions and 12 component groups of the vehicle, plus service interval recommendations, a maintenance log and much more. Check it out at www.carcare.org/
    car_care_guide/index.shtml.

  • While hosting a car care clinic may seem daunting, the Car Care Council makes it easy with its step by
    step guide available at www.carcare.org/
    Industry/pdf/CarCareClinic.pdf.

  • Vehicle check up events are the foundation of National Car Care Month. Year after year motorists are educated about the condition of their vehicles and how to better care for them. Log on to www.carcare.org/
    NCCM/pdf/ 2006_Event_Planner.pdf.

Find out more about National Car Care Month at www.carcare.org or call the Car Care Council at 240-333-1088.

SEMA Scholarship Applications Available To Students, Professionals

Students who are preparing for a career in the automotive industry, as well as qualified graduates who are paying off existing student loans, are invited to apply for financial assistance through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF).

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Since 1984, the SMSF has awarded more than 700 students and graduates with a total of $800,000 in scholarship awards.

Through the program, scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 are awarded to students enrolled in a full-time program with an accredited university, college or proprietary program in the United States or Canada. The SMSF also includes a Loan-Forgiveness Program that provides financial assistance to graduates who have worked with a SEMA-member company for at least one year and who have an outstanding student loan.

Applications are available at www.sema.org/scholarship and are due by April 27, 2007.

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