Tenneco Automotive is expanding its presence in Eastern Europe with the acquisition of a manufacturing facility in Gliwice, Poland, to produce shock absorbers for European-based vehicle manufacturers.

The company anticipates beginning manufacturing at the facility by the third quarter of 2001, after refurbishing the site and installing new equipment.

Tenneco Automotive's long-term strategy is to expand its global capabilities through niche acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances.

With the increasing globalisation of the automotive industry, the company is expanding operations in Eastern Europe and emerging markets to take advantage of lower operating costs and better serve its original equipment customers in these growing markets.

"The decision to expand in Poland was based on lower labour and operating costs, and highly attractive investment conditions offered by the Katowice special economic zone," said Richard Sloan, managing director, Tenneco Automotive Europe.

Gliwice is also home to a General Motors plant that builds the Opel/Vauxhall Agila minicar. It is in southwest Poland, on the crossing of major international transportation networks, and near Tenneco's plant in Rybnik, which serves the exhaust aftermarket.