Eaton builds new plant in Gdansk, Poland

CLEVELAND, OH.... Eaton Corporation announced today that construction has started on an 18,000-square-foot plant in Gdansk, Poland, to manufacture automotive controls. The facility, which will accommodate manufacturing currently being done in a leased facility in Gdansk, as well as provide for future expansion, is expected to be completed in early spring, 1998.

Eaton Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen R. Hardis said, "This new automotive controls plant is symbolic of our determination to expand our operations and serve our automotive customers throughout the world. Eastern Europe offers substantial growth opportunities, and we're making a long-term commitment to the region."

Eaton began activities in Poland in 1995 with the acquisition of IKU, the Netherlands-based worldwide leader in the manufacture of automotive mirror controls. Since that time, the company has expanded production in that country to include other automotive controls, such as steering column switches and headlight and window switches. Employment has increased from 15 to 170. Principal customers include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford, Opel, Peugeot, Citroen and Volvo.

Company officials said they expect employment to exceed 200 in the current facility before the end of 1997, and reach 300 when the new facility reaches full manufacturing capacity. The current operation has already received QS9000 quality certification and recently achieved ISO9002 quality recognition, as well.

Announcement of the new Gdansk plant follows an announcement made by Eaton on June 18, 1997 that it is constructing a new engine components manufacturing plant, located in Bielsko Biala, near Krakow in southern Poland, which will begin supplying Fiat and East European OEMs with automotive engine valves in late 1997. When the engine components plant is fully operational, it will employ 150 with sales expected to exceed $20 million annually by the year 2000.

Construction of the two facilities supports Eaton's growth initiative that includes reaching $10 billion in sales by the year 2000 through global expansion, new product development and acquisitions.

Eaton Corporation is a global manufacturer of highly engineered products which serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial and semiconductor markets. Principal products include electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck transmissions and axles, engine components, hydraulic products, ion implanters and a wide variety of controls. Headquartered in Cleveland, the company has 55,000 employees and 155 manufacturing sites in 26 countries around the world. Sales for 1996 were $7 billion.



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Renald Romain