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TRW, Kia Precision Works sign licensing, inflator production agreements to supply Kia Motors.

SEOUL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 1995--TRW Inc. today signed an agreement with Kia Precision Works (KPW) to license TRW's air bag module technology to KPW to supply Kia Motors.

The driver- and passenger-side air bag modules are scheduled for production for 1997 model-year vehicles. Separate from the 10-year technology licensing agreement, TRW signed a 10-year supply contract to provide all air bag inflators to KPW for modules covered under the license.

``We are pleased to expand our strong relationship with TRW for localization of our module production,'' said K.H. Ma, president of Kia Precision Works. ``Air bag technology and application are an important part of Kia's growth plans.''

John Janitz, executive vice president of TRW's Occupant Restraint Systems Group, said the Kia agreements ``are consistent with TRW's 1992 commitment to cooperate with Kia Motors to localize component manufacturing by 1996. We look forward to furthering our relationship with one of South Korea's largest automakers.''

Janitz said TRW recognized several years ago that air bag production for Korean automakers would eventually be localized.

``TRW developed a Korean strategy to maximize participation in air bag production and secure long-term agreements for our core inflatable restraint technology,'' Janitz said. ``Our agreements with Kia represent one important example of the implementation of this strategy. These agreements and an air bag inflator joint venture agreement that we just announced will position TRW as the preeminent supplier of air bag inflators in Korea.''

TRW has been supplying Kia Motors with air bag modules since 1992 and currently produces these modules in two U.S. facilities. The Kia Precision Works facility that will utilize TRW's licensed air bag module technology is in Chang Won. The agreements will now be submitted to the Korean government for approval.

When Kia awarded TRW some of its air bag inflator and module business in 1992, TRW also received an air bag systems development contract for integrating the air bag, seat belt, sensor and diagnostic systems as part of a total package. As Kia's development partner, TRW was responsible for the crash test studies and other performance measurements.

James Smith, vice president and general manager, TRW Inflatable Restraint Systems, said the rapidly growing Korean automotive industry is expected to become the world's fourth largest auto-producing country by 1996, behind the United States, Japan and Germany.

``This agreement with Kia, coupled with our new air bag inflator joint venture with the Sungwoo Group, strengthens TRW's presence in the expanding Korean market,'' Smith said. He added that because of increased safety awareness among Korean consumers, the number of air bags in Korean automobiles is expected to grow dramatically during the next several years.

Kia Precision Works produces and supplies major automotive parts, special purpose vehicles and factory automation products. It is a key strategic affiliate of Kia Motors, which is Korea's second largest automaker and had 1994 sales of (U.S.) $6.8 billion.

TRW's Occupant Restraint Systems Group is the world's largest supplier of occupant restraint systems, including air bags, seat belts, sensors and diagnostics. TRW Inc. provides advanced technology products and services for the automotive, space and defense and information markets. Its 1994 sales totaled $9.1 billion.

CONTACT: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc., Washington, Mich.

Gary Klasen, 810/781-7217
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 3, 1995
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