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STRONGER TIES WITH CUSTOMERS FROM CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IS ROCKWELL STRATEGY

 STRONGER TIES WITH CUSTOMERS FROM CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
 IS ROCKWELL STRATEGY
 TROY, Mich., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- As effective ties between OEM and supplier become increasingly more crucial in today's global vehicle industry, Rockwell International's Automotive Body and Chassis Systems (ABCS) has placed customer satisfaction squarely at the center of its competitive strategy.
 "It may sound like a cliche, but our No. 1 priority is customer satisfaction," William F. Rebone, president of ABCS, said, "and the key to maximizing customer satisfaction is continuous improvement.
 "If you're doing things that provide value and performance, such as investing in research, development and manufacturing technology, and doing them in ways that save time and money, you're showing commitment to helping your customer compete more effectively," he said.
 Rebone indicated that ABCS is positioning itself to become more customer-focused, more agile and responsive, more open to new, effective ideas from all quarters of the organization, as well as being more team- oriented.
 "Although these concepts can be somewhat abstract, we're committed to putting them into practice through a Total Quality Management process," he explained.
 Among the tangible benefits this approach has yielded are increased quality, lower costs, more and faster product innovations, material and process technology enhancements, and more focused engineering and development programs.
 "We know we've achieved beneficial results from these efforts because our customers have told us so, both with supplier quality awards and other such recognitions; but, more importantly, they've asked us to continue to work with them on new programs, some of which extend out to the end of the decade," Rebone noted.
 As evidence, Rebone cited plant expansions and a number of new orders received by all four ABCS units in North America and elsewhere around the world. The units include Automotive Body Systems; Plastic Products; Rockwell International Suspension Systems Company; and Rockwell-Fumagalli, a Brazilian-based steel wheel manufacturing unit.
 Rebone said Rockwell will open a new 54,000-square-foot torsion bar production facility in Hopkinsville, Ky., this May, and begin supplying customers with torsion bars from that new plant the following month.
 He also noted that new orders for sunroof systems will necessitate an expansion of capacity at Rockwell's roof systems plant in Brighton, Mich.
 He added that new orders for vehicle window regulators and door latches, and continuing efforts to penetrate the seat adjuster systems market, also could necessitate expansion of production capability at a Rockwell facility in Bracebridge, Ontario.
 Rebone stressed that similar positive developments are being experienced throughout all four of the major business units of Automotive Body and Chassis Systems.
 While not disclosing the sales volumes involved, Rebone noted some examples of the new business activity:
 AUTOMOTIVE BODY SYSTEMS
 -- New orders to supply electric and manual preassembled sunroofs systems for three new customers will necessitate expansion of a Rockwell roof systems plant in Brighton. The new orders are for Mazda Motors' plant in Flat Rock, Mich., Volkswagen's production facilities in Puebla, Mexico, and for the Ford Explorer facility in Louisville, Ky.
 -- New orders to supply manual and powered window regulator assemblies for Mazda and Diamond-Star Motors.
 -- Increased orders for glass mat thermoplastic bumper beams, extending out through 1998. These products are produced at Plastic Products' Lenoir, N.C., plant.
 -- Rockwell Plastics' Newton, N.C., plant is working on new orders and advanced developmental programs for structural reaction injection molded (SRIM) products. Demand remains strong for the plant's bulk molding composite (BMC) engine valve covers.
 -- New product launches at Rockwell's sheet molding composites (SMC) plant in Centralia, Ill., include a re-designed roof for the Ford Bronco, and a hood-and-fender assembly for a General Motors medium-duty truck. A new station wagon roof and liftgate will be launched later thus year.
 -- Orders have been received for the development and production of other new SMC products extending out close to the end of the decade.
 -- Plastic Products continues to expand its materials research and testing laboratory in Troy, and recently has added several materials and product engineers.
 SUSPENSION SYSTEMS
 -- Rockwell International Suspension Systems Company (RISSC), a Rockwell joint venture with Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing Company of Japan, has received major new orders for torsion bars, stabilizer bars, suspension coil springs and related suspension products.
 -- RISSC is constructing a new 54,000-square-foot torsion bar production facility in Hopkinsville, which is centrally located to serve several of its key customers.
 ROCKWELL-FUMAGALLI
 -- Rockwell-Fumagalli has completed improvements at its wheel production facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is experiencing increased sales within North America, Brazil and other South American nations.
 Automotive Body and Chassis Systems operates nine production facilities in North America as part of its worldwide production network of 23 facilities in nine nations in North America, Europe, South America and Australia.
 Rockwell International is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 2/24/92
 /CONTACT: R.H. Pacini of Rockwell International, 313-435-1752/
 (ROK) CO: Rockwell International Automotive Body and Chassis Systems ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


SM -- DE025 -- 1889 02/24/92 12:15 EST
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Date:Feb 24, 1992
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