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Valeo moves capacity to Chihuahua.

Valeo SA (Paris, France, expects to close a manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, TX, before the end of the year and move capacity to a Jabil Circuits' (St. Petersburg, FL, plant in Chihuahua, Mexico. The Switches and Detection Systems plant manufactures printed circuit boards (PCBs) for windshield wiper controllers, body control modules and other automotive systems. The company will assist in the transition of approximately 100 employees.

Valeo and Jabil announced a manufacturing partnership and a three-year supply agreement in March. Under the terms of that transaction, production at Valeo plants in Fort Worth and Juarez, Mexico, will be moved to the Jabil facility in Chihuahua. Jabil will also acquire certain Valeo manufacturing operations in France and Germany, with Jabil agreeing to manufacture a variety of automotive electronics for Valeo's products.

In 2001, Valeo cut 7,000 jobs, approximately 6.5 percent of its workforce, and closed 35 of 170 factories. The company lost approximately half a billion dollars last year, while competitors Delphi Automotive and Visteon Corp. also posted losses of triple-digit millions in 2001.

Valeo Electrical Systems Inc. (VESI, Auburn Hills, M[), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2001. "VESI will transfer the printed circuit manufacturing part of its Juarez, Mexico, facility to the Jabil facility in Chihuahua--[a move] approved by the court as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring," Chandra Lewis, marketing and communications manager for Valeo North America, said. "VESI has begun transfer of motor activities in Rochester to Juarez, Mexico, as approved by the court as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring. VESI plans to be out of bankruptcy by October 2002, pending approval of the reorganization plan by creditors and the court."

Sales at Valeo were down by 5.2 percent in the first half of 2002 compared with the same period a year ago. But, the firm is working to reduce its supplier base and has cut the number of suppliers to 3,300 from 3,600 a year ago. The company is also increasing the number of partnerships with the most efficient suppliers.
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Title Annotation:Valeo SA; Valeo Electrical Systems Inc.; Mexico News
Author:Shaughnessy, Andy
Publication:Circuits Assembly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Previous Article:Mexitronica 2002: the national electronics manufacturing conference and exposition of Mexico.
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