Denso Corporation has set up a new facility in Istanbul, Turkey to make car air conditioners and heaters and sell starter motors and alternators.

Sales of starters and alternators will begin in January 2003 and production of automotive thermal products will begin in February 2004.

The new company -- Denso Automotive Parts Industry Inc. - was established last July with an initial capital investment of approximately $US7.3 million (83 million euros or 900 million yen).

Reports in Turkey said the new plant would supply air conditioners and heaters to the Turkish Toyota Corolla plant which builds sedan and station wagon variants for the local and European markets.

Denso projects that the new operation will employ 80 people and make sales of approximately $40.5 million (45 million euros or 5 billion yen) by fiscal year 2005.

"Construction of Denso's first Turkey facility enables us to further meet the needs of our customers in Europe," said Satoshi Watanabe, Denso managing director in charge of Thermal Systems.  "We anticipate a rapid rise in car air-conditioning installations in Europe from today's 50% to 65% by 2005."

Currently, Denso operates four European production plants for car air conditioning products: 100%-owned Denso Manufacturing UK in Shropshire (air conditioners and heaters); 35%-owned TD Deutsche Klimakompressor GmbH in Strassgraebchen, Germany (compressors); 100%-owned Denso Thermal Systems S.p.A. in Torino, Italy (air conditioners, heaters, and radiators); and 100%-owned Denso Manufacturing Czech s.r.o. in Liberec City, Czech Republic (car air conditioning products).

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