TRW Inc, the US-based vehicle components supplier, has opened its fourth plant in Poland - a 7,500-square-metre brake actuation booster facility in Gliwice, the company told today.

The factory, on a 65,000-square-metre site, plans to launch mass production in August 2001, TRW officials said at a motor show in Poznan, 200 miles (300 kilometres) west of Warsaw.

Annual manufacturing capacity of boosters in Gliwice, about 220 miles (350km) southwest of Warsaw, will rise from 500,000 in 2001 to 1.4 million in 2002 and three million in 2005, while employment will grow from 50 in 2001 to 220 in 2002 and 350 in 2005, the officials added.

The company has already spent 25m zloty ($US6.2 million) for the building and DM22 million ($US10 million) on1 equipment and infrastructure. Investment is slated to reach $US25 million before 2002, and more could follow as the plant can be expanded to 30,000 square metres.

The factory, currently called LucasVarity Braking Systems Polska Sp z oo, will change its name to TRW Braking Systems Polska Sp z oo. TRW bought LucasVarity PLC in May 1999.

The facility is based in a 'special economic zone' for the Katowice region entitling the operation to exemptions from national income tax of 100 percent for 10 years and 50 percent for at least five more years.

In Poland TRW also makes airbags and seat belts in Czestochowa, electronics in Warsaw and steering gears in Czechowice-Dziedzice.

The company declined to disclose the names of customers who will buy actuation boosters from Gliwice but said the site would supply the European factories of four big car makers.

TRW is among the world's largest makers of vehicle parts with 2000 sales of $US17.2 billion (including aerospace and information-technology divisions).

Contact Ryan James Tutak, associate editor at for Eastern Europe:
F +36-1/317-7257
T +36-1/266-2693

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