Federal-Mogul is to purchase the Beru spark plug business from BorgWarner. The purchase, subject to regulatory requirements, includes factories at Chazelles sur Lyon, France, and Neuhaus, Germany, which will add about US$80m in annual sales and increase the supplier’s yearly spark plug production capacity to over 350m a year.

The two locations employ about 500 people and currently make Beru branded spark plugs for European OEMs and the aftermarket.

Rainer Jueckstock, Federal-Mogul OE division chief executive officer, said: “The increased manufacturing capacity in Europe will place us closer to our customers and positions [us] well for further market share growth.”

The supplier will integrate the factories - plus related technical and commercial resources - into its global ignition business which includes the Champion product line. This brand has operated in the auto industry since 1906 and includes spark plugs for combustion engines including small garden equipment, motorsports, automotive, commercial vehicles and industrial machinery.

Federal-Mogul currently operates six manufacturing sites and three technical centres within its ignition product line in the US, China, India and Mexico. Its ignition business has continued to grow in original equipment, industrial and aftermarket segments, especially in the last five years, as the company has introduced new spark plug designs featuring platinum and iridium electrodes, high-energy insulators and smaller diameter plug bodies.

Jueckstock added: “We look forward to integrating the newly acquired product lines and manufacturing systems and to present our expanded portfolio of products and capabilities to customers. The global spark plug market will remain a key driver for long-term profitable growth.

“Spark plug innovations are key enablers to engine downsizing, turbocharging and other fuel economy and emissions reduction strategies.”