As part of its strategy to focus on core businesses, Dana Corporation (NYSE: DCN) today announced that it intends to sell its aftermarket-focused Mr. Gasket Performance Group.

Mr. Gasket — a manufacturer and marketer of high-performance ignition components, fuel pumps, camshafts, rocker arms, and chrome accessories sold under such recognized brand names as Hurst®, Mallory®, ACCEL®, Hays®, Lakewood®, Erson®, DFI(TM), and, of course, Mr. Gasket® — had sales of $72 million in 1999. The operations employ approximately 360 people at two facilities in Carson City, Nev., and Cleveland, Ohio.

Larry McCurdy, president of Dana’s Automotive Aftermarket Group, said, “The Mr. Gasket® name is synonymous with high performance. However, this move is best for both parties in the long run, as it will allow these operations and their people to grow with a new parent and enable Dana to focus on growing its core businesses.”

Dana Chairman and CEO Joe Magliochetti said, “The decision to sell a recognized and respected product line is never easy. However, this move reflects Dana’s commitment to the continued implementation of our Five-Point Plan, and to focusing our energies on those businesses and technologies that are central to our global growth strategy.”

Since the Five-Point Plan was introduced in April 1999, Dana has completed the divestiture of operations with combined sales of approximately $850 million. Other divestitures are expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. Proceeds from these divestitures will continue to be used for a combination of strategic acquisitions, stock repurchases, and debt reduction.

A tactical link to Dana’s overall strategic plan, the Five-Point Plan provides elements for continued growth and profitability. The plan includes the following tactics:

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  • Grow while focusing on returns and maintaining financial discipline;
  • Seek strategic, bolt-on acquisitions at reasonable valuations;
  • Divest non-strategic and non-performing operations;
  • Repurchase stock as the company generates cash; and
  • Complete integration efforts and synergy savings.

Dana has retained the investment-banking firm of Austin-Pierce, Ltd., to assist in the transaction.

Dana Corporation is one of the world’s largest independent suppliers to vehicle manufacturers and their related aftermarkets. Founded in 1904 and based in Toledo, Ohio, the company operates some 320 major facilities in 32 countries and employs more than 82,000 people. The company reported sales of $13.2 billion in 1999. Dana’s Internet address is