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BERU Supplies Diesel Cold-Start Technology for Fiat and General Motors.

Business Editors

LUDWIGSBURG, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 26, 2004

BERU AG has been awarded a long-term contract to supply General Motors and Fiat with glow plugs for the current generation of Opel and Fiat diesel engines.

From March 2004 on, the Ludwigsburg-based automotive supplier will equip the 4- valve, 4-cylinder diesel engines from Fiat GM Powertrain with ultra slim 4- millimetre "slim line" glow plugs for low-emission diesel cold drivability. The engines are used for models including the Opel Vectra and Opel Signum, as well as the Fiat, Alfa and Lancia marques. BERU will also have a significant share in the new 4-cylinder small JTD engines.

From 2004 to 2007, over 8 million glow plugs in total are due to be produced for these engine types. In the last business year, the Ludwigsburg-based medium- sized company generated almost half of its EUR 303.1 million turnover in the core business unit of Diesel cold-start Technology.

In 2003, no less than 43.7% (40.3%) of new vehicle purchasers in Europe opted for a diesel. On a European scale, the German market is still amongst those bringing up the rear, but it is gaining ground. In the last few months, 7% more new diesel vehicles hit German roads than in the previous year.

The Chairman of BERU's Executive Board, Marco von Maltzan, who is continuing to focus business activities on diesel by pursuing the existing niche strategy, is confident: "With the newly developed "slim line" glow plugs for GM and Fiat and the diesel instant-start system in the new Golf, we are continuing to concentrate on the ongoing rise of diesel. The development of new diesel engine technologies and the opportunities presented by the markets opening up in North America and Asia create a healthy business environment for BERU to further drive on the automotive use of diesel, and diesel cold-start technology in particular. In Germany several mineral oil companies have started admixing of tax-exempted biodiesel to regular diesel fuel. On the European Union level dicussions to promote new ecological fuel concepts such as Sun Diesel from biomass or synthetic diesel derived from natural gas have been gaining ground in recent months. These trends render the diesel engine an even more interesting proposition," von Maltzan explains confidently.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Feb 26, 2004
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