Dana Plans Expansion of Heavy Vehicle Center in MI

Sat March 27, 2004 - Midwest Edition

Dana Corporation has announced plans for a $6-million expansion of its heavy vehicle research and development center in Kalamazoo, MI. The expansion is slated to begin in September 2003, with completion scheduled for early 2004.

Dana’s Heavy Vehicle Technology Center houses the headquarters and R&D center for Dana’s Commercial Vehicle Systems Group-North America.

“This investment will enhance our leadership position in the commercial vehicle industry and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the medium- and heavy-truck business,” said Nick Cole, president of the Heavy Vehicle Technologies and Systems Group.

“This will enable us to collaborate more effectively with our customers, and leverage the knowledge, skills, and abilities of our people to develop innovative products,” he added. The expansion of the center will afford Dana additional research and development capabilities for its heavy-vehicle products. The expansion will add 15,000 sq. ft. (1,393 sq m) to the current 155,000-sq.-ft. (144,000 sq m) facility and includes a significant investment in technologically advanced test equipment.

“Dana is committed to the development of new technologies and products that go beyond today’s demands and create future value for our customers and our shareholders,” said Frank Sheehan, vice president, sales, marketing, and product planning for Dana Commercial Vehicle Systems. “In expanding our research and development facility, we will further reduce time-to-market for the many new and innovative product launches we have planned.”

Commercial Vehicle Systems has demonstrated its commitment to the heavy-truck industry through a myriad of new product introductions over the past 18 months. Approximately 75 percent of the CVS steer- and drive-axle lineup has been replaced with advanced models featuring customer-driven enhancements. Significant improvements in performance and durability relating to brake and tire systems also are being validated.

“Recent product innovations delivered to the marketplace include a fixed suspension for flatbed trailer applications, the AdVantage slider air suspension, the S130 drive axle for medium-duty trucks, and unitized wheel-end systems for all wheel-ends,” Sheehan added.

David Renz, vice president, sales and marketing, Eaton Truck Components, said, “We are proud of our partnership with Dana in the Roadranger System of drivetrain products and solutions. The expansion of Dana’s technology center is further evidence of its commitment to lead the marketplace with technologically-advanced, high-quality axle, brake, and suspension products, that exceed customer and market expectations.”

Dana’s Commercial Vehicle Systems Group designs, manufactures, and markets front-steer, rear-drive, trailer, and auxiliary axles; driveshafts; steering shafts; brakes; suspensions; and related systems, modules, and services for the commercial vehicle market. Major components and modules are marketed under the Spicer brand name. Dana’s strategic marketing alliance with Eaton Corporation’s Truck Components group provides innovative drivetrain systems under the Roadranger brand name.

Founded in 1904 and based in Toledo, OH, Dana operates hundreds of technology, manufacturing, and customer service facilities in 30 countries.