Federal-Mogul Corporation has announced that its board of directors has approved a three-year capital spending program to establish a technical centre in Japan. It is planned that the centre will have applications engineering, computer- aided design with 24-hour online capabilities between Japan, Europe and North America, engine test cells and sales engineering.

“We are committed to improving our position with the Japanese transplants in Europe and North America,” said Chip McClure, president and chief operating officer. “We have talked with our customers and our joint venture partners throughout Asia about this commitment and they are very supportive of us enhancing our sales and engineering presence in Japan.”

The technical centre, which is scheduled to open in early 2003, is expected to employ application engineers, designers, analysts and lab technicians. Site selection is expected to be finalised soon.

Federal-Mogul’s present facilities and staff are in Yokohama, Japan. In the Asia Pacific area, Federal-Mogul operates 30 entities in 11 countries, including 13 joint ventures. Approximately 85% of the company’s Asia Pacific sales are with powertrain products.

“There are many new powertrain transplant opportunities over the next five to 10 years and the engineering and sourcing decisions are still centralised in Japan,” said McClure. “We want to leverage our existing relationships with our Japanese strategic partners for all of our products and offer the automakers in Japan at least the same level of service they receive from their Japanese suppliers.”