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ArvinMeritor Celebrates Accomplishments in Challenging First Year.

TROY, Mich., July 10 /PRNewswire/ --

ArvinMeritor, Inc. (NYSE: ARM) today announced that the year-old company has exceeded its $50-million cost synergy targets and strengthened its position as a premier global supplier despite challenging automotive industry conditions. Last year, ArvinMeritor was created as a result of the merger of Arvin Industries and Meritor Automotive.

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"At the year-one mark, our future as a new company looks extremely promising," said Larry Yost, ArvinMeritor chairman and CEO. "To have made these strides despite weakened markets and in light of the fact that most mergers fail, validates our original merger strategy. We have emerged stronger and more financially sound. We are fully positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities in every major automotive sector."

Yost credited ArvinMeritor's uncommon success during the industry downturn to:

* Starting the integration process early by establishing 19 teams that met weekly and created the vision for the new company.

* The ability to quickly adopt cost-saving and quality initiatives.

* A merger that took place without incurring debt or premium.

* A diverse product mix that allows the company to uniquely capitalize in primary segments such as light and commercial vehicle systems as well as in exhaust and aftermarket areas.

"It would be naive not to recognize the effect of the dramatic drop that occurred in our industry," said Bill Hunt, ArvinMeritor vice chairman and president. "But what kept us operating and well-positioned for the future was the fact that the merger forced us to immediately find cost and efficiency synergies that aided our bottom line. These synergies helped us to weather the storm. We were proactive and our customers responded favorably."

Hunt said ArvinMeritor represents more than simply a merger. It is the creation of a new company that has drawn strength from two distinguished heritages. He pointed to the new company's ability to blend best practices, while has renewing its commitment to continuous improvement through such quality initiatives as the ArvinMeritor Performance Systems (AMPS), "White Shirt" and Six Sigma.

In addition, Hunt said, over the past year, the merger of the companies has combined the technological expertise of both predecessors to create numerous opportunities for the new ArvinMeritor. For example, Hunt noted:

* In Ride and Motion Control, the company will be introducing a new modular independent suspension system later this summer and at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

* The company's corner modules are currently on most original manufacturer bid lists, with more than 1.3 million modules being produced annually.

* Commercial Vehicle Systems exhaust was recently awarded its first contract to develop and supply as many as 35,000 full exhaust systems to a major European manufacturer.

* The company filed more than 145 original patent applications.

* ArvinMeritor opened an Exhaust headquarters and technical center in Columbus, Ind.

* The company began production of ZF Meritor's FreedomLine clutch-less transmission.

* ArvinMeritor introduced Gabriel monotube, a high-performance shock for light trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

"We have built a solid foundation for future growth and are poised to move ahead in building even stronger customer ties," Yost said. "We continue to assume greater engineering and management roles with our OEM partners, as evidenced by accomplishments like the expansion of our wheels facility in San Luis Potosi in Mexico. We are confident ArvinMeritor is uniquely positioned to exceed expectations in the years to come."

ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier $7-billion global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry. The company serves light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and specialty original equipment manufacturers and related aftermarkets. In addition, ArvinMeritor is a leader in coil coating applications, including those for the transportation, appliance, construction and furniture industries. The company is headquartered in Troy, Mich., and employs 36,000 people at more than 150 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries. ArvinMeritor common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ARM. For more information, visit the company's Web site at: .

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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 10, 2001
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