TRW's chassis systems business today officially opened its manufacturing facility in Bukit Beruntung, Malaysia, to supply brake and chassis modules to Proton for the Waja GX-41 model.

As a Tier-1 supplier to Proton, TRW's manufacturing operation is based on a modular concept.

Construction of this state-of-the-art facility began in December 1999 on eight acres of land. Production started this month. Total investment for the facility was RM 92 million (US $24 million) and of that RM 67 million (US $18 million) was invested for land, building and equipment, with total manufacturing square footage of 4,700 sq./m. TRW employs 50 people at the plant.

"This business represents an important first for TRW," said Mike Lahner, managing director, TRW Automotive ASEAN. "It is our first braking systems business with Proton and an ideal opportunity to establish this product line in the ASEAN region. This grand opening is part of TRW's commitment to expanding its manufacturing and technical capabilities in the region."

The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) portion of the total brake system for Proton will contain TRW's traction control technology, which will be introduced on the Proton vehicles for the first time. TRW designs and supplies front and rear foundation brake components, actuation, and ABS with integrated traction control for these Proton vehicles.

The company's long-term strategy includes using Malaysia as a hub to export automotive systems to other countries and TRW manufacturing plants.

Malaysia joins Eastern Europe and South America as one of the world's most vibrant car markets. Economic growth has helped to bring passenger cars within the grasp of a growing percentage of its population.

The Grand Opening ceremony will be attended by Dato' Kerk Choo Ting, deputy minister, International Trade and Industry, Malaysia; Steve Lunn, senior vice president, operations, TRW Chassis Systems; Mike Lahner, managing director, TRW Automotive ASEAN; and CM Lee, plant manager, TRW Chassis Systems, Malaysia.

TRW also has two additional plants in Malaysia that supply the automotive industry. TRW's plant in Penang, established in 1984, supplies tie rods, suspension ball joints, steering linkages and gears.

At the company's Johor Bahru plant, established in 1982, TRW manufactures VFD and LCD clocks, LCD displays, flasher units, immobilizers, multi-function timer units and other electrical components. Total TRW investment in Malaysia to date for all three plants is RM 152 million (US $40 million).

TRW Inc. (NYSE: TRW - news) provides advanced technology products and services for the global automotive, aerospace and information systems markets. The company, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the world's largest independent automotive component suppliers.

TRW produces braking systems, steering and suspension systems and aftermarket replacement parts, electronic safety and security systems, occupant restraint systems, engineered fastening systems and engine components. The company's news releases are available through TRW's corporate Web site (