Motorola, Inc (NYSE: MOT) and Amerigon Inc. (Nasdaq: ARGNA) today announced they have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to develop a new generation of electronic control modules (ECMs).
Under terms of the memorandum of understanding, the companies intend to negotiate and enter into a definitive non-exclusive agreement to use Amerigon’s proprietary Climate Control Seat(TM) system (CCS(TM)) and Motorola’s manufacturing expertise to jointly develop ECMs. ECMs are used to manage the thermal outputs of the CCS system.
The Amerigon CCS system is currently available as an option on the 2000 model year Lincoln Navigator Sports Utility Vehicle and is the only product on the market today that makes it possible for both the driver and front seat passenger of a vehicle to individually and actively control the warming and/or cooling of their respective seat for year-round comfort.
“We believe that the Amerigon CCS is a breakthrough automotive technology with great potential,” said Michael Cops, Vice President and Director of Motorola’s Automotive and Industrial Electronics Group (AIEG). “Our goal is to team with companies like Amerigon where Motorola’s design, quality and manufacturing resources combined with Amerigon’s entrepreneurial innovation and marketing skill can produce high volume products that have the potential to capture strong market positions.”
“Motorola is known globally for supplying world-class electronic products that deliver top performance to automotive customers,” said Amerigon President and CEO Richard A. Weisbart. “By joining forces with Motorola for the development and manufacture of our new generation of ECMs for CCS, we will gain significant leverage in the market and have a dependable, high-volume supply of product of the best-possible quality.”
According to Weisbart, each company intends to be responsible for funding its own costs such as engineering, technical resources and capital investment.
The Ford Motor Co. has agreed to use Amerigon’s proprietary CCS system exclusively for heated and cooled or heated and ventilated seats for a period of five years. Amerigon continues to market CCS to other vehicle manufacturers and seat suppliers worldwide. The Irwindale, Calif.-based company is currently in discussions with more than 20 other seat and vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. and internationally.
About Motorola AIEG
Motorola’s Automotive and Industrial Electronics Group (AIEG) researches, develops and manufactures electronics and electronic systems for automotive original equipment manufacturers and all tiers of automotive system suppliers and industrial customers worldwide. The group operates in four strategic business arenas that include powertrain and powertrain systems, body electronics, sensors and power controls, and chassis controls. AIEG is a part of Motorola’s Integrated Electronics Systems Sector (IESS). AIEG is headquartered in Northbrook, Ill.
About Motorola IESS
The Integrated Electronic Systems Sector (IESS) is part of Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT). IESS designs and manufactures a broad range of electronic components, modules and integrated electronic systems and products for automotive, industrial, transportation, navigation, computer, telecommunications and energy system markets. IESS consists of four closely related business units that work together to form a seamless partnership. These units include the Automotive & Industrial Electronics Group (AIEG), Telematics Communications Group (TCG), Motorola Computer Group (MCG) and the Energy Systems Group (ESG). Motorola IESS is headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., and has 20 manufacturing and office sites worldwide. Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:) is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 1999 were $33.1 billion.
Amerigon, an emerging player in the global automotive industry, develops and markets proprietary products for automotive OEMs. In addition to the CCS technology, the Company’s products include the AmeriGuard(TM) radar sensing system, designed to extend the driver’s field of view in such vehicle applications as enhanced parking aids, back-up warning systems and side object detection.
Certain matters discussed in this release, including the execution of a definitive agreement between Motorola and Amerigon, Amerigon’s technology and intellectual property, future production volume and market share, expense levels, and the number of potential vehicle platforms, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may be different. Such risks and uncertainties include the acceptance and performance of Amerigon’s products, Amerigon’s ability to develop new products successfully and Amerigon’s ability to obtain new sources of financing. Please also refer to the Amerigon’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 and its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2000.
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