CLEVELAND, OHIO…Eaton's Aeroquip Group today opened a new $11 million manufacturing plant for hoses and fittings in Queretaro, Mexico, to serve automotive and industrial customers. Queretaro is located about two hours northwest of Mexico City. The new plant, constructed on a six-acre tract in Queretaro's Industrial Park, replaces a previous facility in Mexico City, where the company employed 30 people. The new site has both manufacturing and office space and is expected to employ 120 by the end of 1999. Automotive products manufactured and shipped from the new facility will be primarily hose & tube assemblies for automotive fluids used in air conditioning and power steering systems for customers such as Volkswagen and Ford. The plant will also provide hose assembly and distribution operations for industrial customers. These products include hydraulic hoses, fittings, couplings and adapters, which Aeroquip sells direct to OEMs and through local distributors in Mexico. Aeroquip facilities in Germany, Spain, the U.S. and United Kingdom were benchmarked to bring a global collection of "best practices" for the Queretaro launch. The project was a logistic challenge involving teams working from three different countries and five company locations simultaneously. The Aeroquip Group (http://www.aeroquip.com) of Eaton Corporation is a leading manufacturer of industrial, automotive, aerospace and defense products including flexible hose, fittings and assemblies; custom-engineered molded and extruded plastic products; quick-disconnect and V-band couplings; custom compound hose/tube assemblies; swivel joints; and refrigeration/air conditioning components. Eaton is a global manufacturer of highly engineered products that serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial, aerospace and semiconductor markets. Principal products include hydraulic products and fluid connectors, electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck drivetrain systems, engine components, ion implanters and a wide variety of controls. Headquartered in Cleveland, the company has 64,500 employees and 215 manufacturing sites in 25 countries around the world. Eaton's sales for 1998 were $6.6 billion. On April 9, 1999, Eaton acquired Aeroquip-Vickers, Inc., which had sales of $2.1 billion in 1998.