International

Wix puts up filter plant in Poland Dana Corp.'s Wix Filtration Products Div. will set up its first factory in Europe through a joint venture with Przedsiebiorstwu Filtron in Gostyn Poland. The joint venture will also be Dana's first operation in Central Europe. Dana will have a 75% equity position in the new firm, to be called Wix-Filtron. Filtron currently holds the No. 2 market position in Poland.

Wix puts up filter plant in Poland Dana Corp.'s Wix Filtration Products Div. will set up its first factory in Europe through a joint venture with Przedsiebiorstwu Filtron in Gostyn Poland. The joint venture will also be Dana's first operation in Central Europe. Dana will have a 75% equity position in the new firm, to be called Wix-Filtron. Filtron currently holds the No. 2 market position in Poland. It offers a broad line of oil, air, fuel, and cabin-air filters that are also exported to countries in Central and Western Europe. The Polish firm was founded in 1982 by Pietr Gietmaziak, who will become president and general director of Wix-Filtron.

Toyo expanding R&D. Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has announced it will make a $13.3 million-investment in its R&D efforts through a major expansion of its main technical center in Itami, Japan. Slated for completion in 1999, the effort will give the tire maker a 258,000-sq.-ft. facility.

Logistics firm targets Mexico. MSAS Americas, based in Burlingame, Calif., has said its parent firm will expand its logistics and transportation-management presence in Mexico. MSAS de Mexico S.A. de C.V., a majority-owned joint venture with Central de Aduanas de Mexico, will offer air and sea import/ export, customs brokerage, warehousing, distribution, and consulting services. Headquarters will be in Mexico City with branches in Monterrey, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Nuevo Laredo, Veracruz, and Toluca. There will also be an office in Laredo, Tex. Day-to-day operations will be supervised by MSAS country manager Luis Torres. "This is our first move in line with our strategy to be a leading player in the Latin American market," said Roger Haeussler, MSAS vp for Latin America.

Canada serving up Chile. According to Latin America Automotive Insight, prime minister Jean Chretien has said the Canadian government may use the free-trade agreement it has inked with Chile to help sway the U.S. to let the South American country join NAFTA. The U.S., Mexico, and Canada agreed back in 1984 to make Chile the fourth NAFTA partner, paving the way to negotiate a Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Global aftermarket meeting. The second Global Aftermarket Symposium will be held September 17-19 in Chicago's Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel. Organized jointly by the Automotive Parts & Accessories Assn. (APAA), Automotive Warehouse Distributors Assn. (AWDA), and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Assn. (MEMA), the symposium is designed to educate aftermarket professionals on global trends. Profits from the conference will be used to fund scholarships for qualifying high-school grads who enroll in college or vocational schools to prepare for careers in the automotive aftermarket. For registration information, call Sarah Havlicek of APAA at 301-654-6444. For details on the scholarship program, contact AWDA at 816-444-3500.

Cobra strikes again. United Shelby, a joint venture between Malaysian, Japanese, and American partners, is poised to reproduce the legendary Shelby sports-car line in Malaysia starting next year. Plans call for the cars -- last built elsewhere in 1969 -- to be exported to the U.S., Japan, and Europe.

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