Noble International has received an order from Chrysler Group for laser-welded blanks (LWBs) for the Dodge Durango, currently in production.

The company also recently began production of LWBs for the new Dodge Charger and 2006 Jeep Commander programmes.

Noble expects to begin LWB production for the Durango by the fourth quarter of 2005. Initially it plans to produce LWBs for the program at Warren, Michigan. Noble does not expect the programme to make a significant contribution to its 2005 operating results due to the anticipated fourth quarter startup, launch costs and higher short-term transportation costs.
The company expects to open a new plant in Ohio during the first half of 2006 to support this programme and additional future growth.

Christopher Morin, Noble's president and chief executive officer, said: "We are working closely with the Chrysler Group to identify and introduce more value-enhancing and cost-reducing laser welding applications."