Dana Corp. signed a letter of intent last month to sell its global hydraulic cylinder manufacturing operations to Dallas-based Empire Financial Corp. The transaction involves hydraulic cylinder operations in Arab, Ala., and Lancaster, Tex., the Lessard operation in St. Wenceslas, Quebec, Canada, and the Erwin Hengstler Hydraulik GmbH facility located in Hausach, Germany. Together these operations employ about 500 people; combined sales for 1996 totaled nearly $75 million. In other Dana news, its Wix Filtration Products Div. acquired Ferndale, Mich.-based Flexon Inc., a fuel-filter manufacturer. John Kroha, who founded Flexon in 1977, will continue as its president.
On the other side of the table, Donaldson Co. has entered into an agreement to purchase the Armada Tube Group, which includes Armada Tube Products, Armada, Mich., and Lakeside Tube Fabricators, Mooresville, N.C. Armada specializes in manufacturing bent and fabricated tubular assemblies for exhaust and other engine-related products for OEMs.
Further along in the acquisition process is Wabash National Corp., whose purchase of Fruehauf Trailer Corp. was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. According to Wabash, it has bought the Fruehauf and Pro-Par names, all patents and trademarks, retail outlets, the aftermarket parts distribution business, and two trailer manufacturing plants. The assets are valued at $51 million.
Schwitzer Inc. has completed the acquisition of Kysor Transportation Group, which supplies proprietary cooling fans, fan drives, fuel tanks, gauges, sensors, and trailer supports to the transportation industry. The business units of the two organizations will merge, and Timothy J. Campbell will become president and COO. Campbell was previously responsible for Kysor Transportation.
Also sporting a new look is Ravens Metal Products, manufacturer of aluminum flatbed and dump trailers and bodies, which changed its name to Ravens Inc. and established a new holding company, RVM Industries Inc. In a move slated to increase its size, and make the company more attractive to investors, RVM purchased Albex Aluminum Inc., Canton, Ohio, and Signs and Blanks Inc., Akron.
One-stop shopping Calling it "the industry's first all-in-one financing solution for tractor and trailer purchases," Mercedes-Benz. Credit Corp. (MBCC) announced that its Freightliner Financial Services Division has joined forces with Deutsche Financial Services Corp. (DFS) to give Freightliner customers greater financing resources. Buyers only need to file one application through their Freightliner dealer to get tractor financing from MBCC and trailer financing from DFS. In other Freightliner news, a milestone was achieved at the OEM's Mt. Holly plant when the 200,000th truck rolled off the assembly line recently.
Step vans step out Richmond, Ind.-based Carpenter Industries has signed a one-year contract to supply at least 169 Crown Step Vans to the U.S. Government Services Agency. Carpenter entered the step van market with the introduction of this model in January 1997. "The Crown Step Van was developed ... around the needs of our customers, and we are beginning to see the benefits of this customized approach," said Robert C. Otto, head of the step van division.
It's EnGenius Computer Methods Corp. has formed an independent division, EnGenius Inc., that will specialize in solutions for system and component diagnosis, tracking, inspection, evaluation, and communication. Based in Livonia, Mich., the subsidiary will market to heavy-duty truck manufacturers, fleets, and tire manufacturers. EnGenius is expected to focus on the development of highly advanced wireless data exchange.
Tops in training Navistar International Transportation Corp. received a Training Excellence Award from the Automotive Training Managers Council for its dealer technician training program, which uses interactive techniques to train employees in the diagnosis and repair of electronic diesel engines.
When it's time to reline HD America (HDA) has introduced an exclusive relined-shoe program developed "to assure uniform product distribution across North America, along with competitive pricing and consistent reline standards." The product line includes two proprietary formulas, HDAC 23 rated for 23,000-lb.-capacity axles and HDAC 20 for 20,000-lb. axles, for coverage of most Class 8 applications. According to HDA, the shoes feature a built-in wear indicator to alert precisely when to reline.
Quality kudos Rockwell Automotive's Heavy Vehicle Systems business has added the following to its cadre of ISO 9002-certified facilities: Oshkosh, Wis., off-highway and specialty products manufacturing plant; Fairfield, Iowa, York ,S.C., and Portland, Ore., driveline assemblies. ISO 9001 certification has been awarded to Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems for all of its operations, and to Stemco Inc. Stemco has also received QS 9000 designation, as has Goodyear's transportation hose plant, Collingwood, Ont., Canada.