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Maxima Technologies created though Datcon acquisition of Stewart Warner.

The acquisition of Stewart Warner, Des Plaines, Ill., by Datcon Instrument Company, Lancaster, Pa., which was announced in late April, creates a serious new force in the on-highway, off-highway, industrial and marine instrumentation markets.

Stewart Warner has operations in Des Plaines, El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, and all have been QS-9000 certified. The company recently landed contracts to supply a fully integrated data-bus system (see March 1998, Diesel Progress) to several OEMs. This complements Datcon's data-bus products and systems which are now sold in the U.S. and Europe.

Together with the Spanish-based company, AST (Industrias Jorda, S.L.), which Datcon acquired in 1995, a new group enterprise called Maxima Technologies has been formed representing a family of quality brand names related to vehicle instrumentation and monitoring systems for original equipment manufacturers as well as the aftermarket.

Oddie Leopando, president of Datcon, will head up the new Maxima Technology group. "By joining forces with Stewart Warner, we are in an even stronger position to support both OEM and aftermarket customers anywhere in the world," Leopando said. "Maxima Technologies is a truly global company with operations in the U.S., Europe and Mexico, and with our planned alliances in Asia and middle Europe, our vision of becoming a market leader and consolidator of quality brands is becoming a reality.

"In Europe, we already enjoy an estimated 40 percent share of the agricultural vehicle instrumentation market. And we are now launching several important new products that will strengthen our position in North America."

Additional acquisitions in the instrument sphere on a global basis are being strongly hinted. Much of the motivation for forming the new group and to further expand is simply to stay step-for-step with customers as they continue to structure their global organizations.

Datcon and Stewart Warner will serve a worldwide market with a full range of analog and digital instrument clusters and displays, gauges, meters and matching senders and sensors, instrument controllers and electronic control units, battery monitoring systems and accessories. Jorda serves as a European base for Datcon, but is also a major supplier of instrument clusters, gauges, meters, sensors and controls in its own right.

Each brand, Datcon, Stewart Warner and AST, will be marketed by Maxima as appropriate. The stated intent is to "maximize" customer value by offering an integrated portfolio of products and capabilities creating a range of solutions for customers with respect to quality, delivery, cost, technology, customer service and global support. Maxima will be managed by a core business team comprised of key associates from the various operations. Resources from all the technical, sales and manufacturing locations will be leveraged for customer benefit, the company said.

Maxima indicated that distribution will be studied on a case-by-case basis to make sure that by carrying multiple brands, each brand will still be protected to ensure growth rather than encourage cannibalization.

Production will be rationalized to suit customer requirements. If customers prefer a different arrangement, certain product could swap locations. Programs could thus be developed at Barcelona, Chicago, Juarez, or Lancaster product development centers, or at the customer's location. Maxima has no headquarters per se, and each location will participate in managing the business.

Estimated combined sales of the new group, including Datcon, Stewart Warner and AST, would be approximately $70 million per year.
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Author:Wilson, Rob
Publication:Diesel Progress North American Edition
Date:Jun 1, 1998
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