Sunroof Giant Webasto AG Completes Purchase of North American Unit From Magna
17 July 2000Sunroof Giant Webasto AG Completes Purchase of North American Unit From Magna
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. - German-based Webasto AG has announced the completion of the purchase of Magna International's 50 percent stake in Webasto Sunroofs Inc. Webasto Sunroofs Inc., headquartered in Rochester Hills, Mich., has seven manufacturing and engineering facilities located in Michigan, Kentucky and California. Webasto Sunroofs Inc. has yearly sales in excess of $250 million and 1,000 employees in North America. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Webasto AG is the world's leading supplier of sunroof modules and roof components to the vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket. In addition, the company's thermosystems unit supplies a wide array of cooling and heating components for the commercial and passenger vehicle markets. "We've had a tremendously successful 16-year relationship with Magna," said Franz-Josef Kortuem, chairman of Webasto AG. "In that time, the North American market for factory-installed sunroofs has exploded. Sunroofs are currently being installed on about 20 percent of all vehicles made in North America, with some models featuring sunroofs on 60-70 percent of all new units. Our volumes have doubled in the last two years and 2001 and 2002 are going to be growth years, as well," Kortuem said. Kortuem added that Magna and Webasto will continue to work together in areas of mutual interest. (components, systems, etc.) Webasto Sunroofs Inc. is currently providing sunroof systems for over 40 models, including the General Motors, Jimmy, Blazer, Grand Prix and Grand Am models; Ford's Expedition, Taurus and F-150 Super Crew and Lincoln Navigator and Mercury Sable; Chrysler's new PT Cruiser; and the Toyota Camry. In addition, the company supplies additional products to the vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket. The company will produce in excess of 1 million sunroof systems for the North American market in 2000. "As the market grows for sunroofs, it becomes more sophisticated and competitive," said Dr. Wolfgang D. Thurow, executive vice president of Webasto AG. "Webasto AG has developed a number of very innovative roof systems, including full-roof modules, hard-top convertibles and some new convertible tops which incorporate some very progressive designs and technologies. We firmly believe that sunroofs and other open-roof systems can provide a real and value-added differentiation between similar vehicles," said Dr. Thurow. Webasto AG has technical and manufacturing facilities in Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Finland, Italy, Japan (1978), the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, South Korea (1978), Turkey, the Ukraine and the U.S.(1974). In addition, the company maintains a sales organization to serve the aftermarket in 46 countries. The company's worldwide sales for 2000 are projected to exceed $1 billion. Webasto AG employs 4,300 people around the world and has been supplying sunroof and thermo systems to global automakers and the aftermarket for over 65 years. In June 2001 the company will mark its 100th anniversary.