Eaton sells suspension business to Oxford Automotive, Inc.
Fri Mar 13, 1998 -
CLEVELAND, OHIO ... The company today issued the following news release: Eaton today said it has agreed to sell its automotive leaf spring business to Oxford Automotive, Inc., of Troy, Michigan, in a cash transaction. The purchase price was not disclosed and the transaction is subject to completion of certain conditions. Government approvals of the transaction have already been received by the parties.
The Suspension Division, which had 1997 sales of $126 million, has 1,126 employees at four locations in North America, and also manufactures and sells suspension products in South America through a joint venture with Sivensa in Venezuela. Eaton’s 1997 sales to the automotive industry were nearly $2 billion.
In commenting on today’s announcement, Chairman Stephen R. Hardis said, "The Suspension Division is a highly respected supplier of leaf springs to the automotive industry and has been a valued member of the Eaton family of products for more than seven decades.
"It has become clear to us, however, that in order to continue meeting future customer demands for increasingly sophisticated suspension systems products, a significant investment in new technology and product-line breadth would be required. We believe that Oxford Automotive is better positioned to meet the customer requirements for suspension systems. Eaton’s strengths lie in developing other value-added products on a global basis for which our automotive customers have indicated a preference."
Eaton’s Suspension Division is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and has manufacturing facilities in Chatham and Wallaceburg, Ontario, and in Hamilton, Indiana. There are 429 employees at the Chatham facility, 556 at Wallaceburg, and 126 at Hamilton. The division also has 15 sales and administrative employees who are affected by today’s announcement. The Suspension Division is a full-line supplier of multi-plate and long taper leaf springs for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle markets.