Chrysler Group has signed an agreement with Behr America, Inc., based in Troy, Michigan, to sell its Dayton Thermal Products (DTP) component operation in Dayton, Ohio.

Behr will assume operational responsibility while Chrysler Group will maintain a minority interest for two years to assist in the transition. Over the next three to five years, Behr plans to expand the range of products manufactured in the Dayton facility.

DTP, with sales volumes of roughly $US600 million (approximately EUR 660 million), will immediately increase Behr’s total group sales of $2.0 billion in 2001 (2001: approximately EUR 2.2 billion) by 30 percent. The approximately 2,000 Dayton staff will bring the number of Behr employees in the U.S. to 3,000, and the total in the Behr group will increase from 13,700 to 5,700.

Dayton Thermal Products is a production plant manufacturing heating, ventilation and air conditioning modules, evaporators, engine cooling modules, vapour canisters, PCV valves and service parts. These products are found in a variety of Chrysler Group models, such as the Chrysler and Dodge Neon, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Jeep(R) Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram.

The 1.1 million square foot facility was built in 1915 with a major addition in 1969.

Behr America posted sales of roughly $230 million (approximately EUR 260 million) in 2001, with its existing four sites in Texas, South Carolina, South Dakota and Michigan employing around 1,000.

These facilities produce engine cooling modules and components, visco fan assemblies and air conditioning systems for commercial vehicles, special vehicles as well as US-produced European cars.