ArvinMeritor has formed a joint venture with Randon Participacoes, Caxias do Sul, Brazil, to develop, manufacture and sell truck and trailer components to be marketed in South America.

Under the agreement, Suspensys, previously a division of Randon, will become a 50/50 partnership between ArvinMeritor and Randon.

Randon, a large conglomerate of companies specialising in numerous markets in Latin America, makes road equipment and specialty vehicles, as well as automotive systems and components.

Since 1986, ArvinMeritor and Randon have been joint venture partners in Master Sistemas Automotivos Limitada. Master, also based in Caxias do Sul, manufactures, assembles and markets on-highway heavy vehicle brakes.

The new joint venture, Suspensys, will focus on truck suspensions, trailer axles and suspensions, and related wheel-end equipment.

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The joint venture will combine ArvinMeritor product technology with Randon manufacturing and operations expertise. Suspensys will have its own sales and marketing organisation to deal with OEM customers and provide service and aftermarket support.

Currently, a 174,000 sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Caxias do Sul is under construction specifically for the Suspensys products, and will be completed November 2002.

Initially the joint venture will produce truck suspensions, trailer suspensions and trailer axles for two vehicle OEMs and a variety of trailer OEMs, as well as hubs and drums for one vehicle maker.