Three automotive interior parts makers belonging to the Toyota Motor group said on Friday they will merge in October 2004 to strengthen their competitiveness and product development capabilities, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Toyoda Boshoku Corp., a listed affiliate of Toyota, will merge with TakaNichi Co. and the interior parts-making division of Araco Corp - those two companies are both Toyota subsidiaries, the report said.

According to Dow Jones, the merger will create a parts maker with annual sales of around Y400 billion and more than 8,000 employees and Toyoda Boshoku will be the surviving entity.

Araco's motor body production division will merge with another Toyota unit, Toyota Auto Body Co., also in October 2004, the report added.

In the fiscal year that ended in March, Araco's motor body division generated parent-based sales of Y202.36 billion and a pretax profit of Y6.71 billion, Dow Jones said.