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Kongsberg signs deal with Renault

GM sells steering unit to Chinese investment group
Detroit, Michigan (AFP) July 8, 2010 - US auto giant General Motors has sold its Michigan-based steering gear manufacturer Nexteer to a Chinese investment group. Pacific Century Motors, an entity formed by The Tempo Group and an affiliate of the Beijing municipal government, will acquire all of Nexteer's operations, which has 6,200 employees around the world including China. The deal includes 22 manufacturing plants, six engineering facilities and 14 customer-support centers in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Terms of the sale, which is expected to close by the end of the year, were not disclosed.

"The sale of Nexteer to PCM supports our objective to focus on our core auto business and is the final step in our efforts to position Nexteer as an independent supplier," a statement from GM said. "The sale better enables Nexteer to take advantage of anticipated growth in the global auto industry with a variety of automakers," said GM vice chairman for corporate strategy and business development Stephen Girsky. "Ultimately, it's a move we believe will make it a more vibrant and healthier business."

Nexteer's headquarters will remain in Saginaw, Michigan and PCM said it intends to honor the terms of the new five-year labor agreement. "Today's announcement reflects a win-win situation," said Zhao Guangyi, chairman of PCM and its affiliate E-Town Development Area. "The new ownership will provide access to not only continued capital investment but also new growth opportunities, which will allow Nexteer to continue its growth worldwide in technology and manufacturing, and particularly enable greater access to untapped business in the China market," Zhao said. GM reported a post-bankruptcy quarterly profit in May for the first time in three years on the back of a jump in sales and cost-cutting measures.
by Staff Writers
Oslo, Norway (UPI) Jul 7, 2010
Kongsberg Gruppen signed a $21.7 million contract to supply its Protector remote weapon stations to equip the French army's Renault VAB armored personnel carriers.

The contract is part of a $77.5 million framework agreement the Norwegian company, with headquarters in Kongsberg, signed with Renault Truck Defense in May 2008.

The latest contract with RTD will see the Kongsberg Protector RWS mounted on the 4x4 adaptable amphibious vehicle, which can accommodate 12 people and has a maximum road speed of nearly 60 mph.

The Protector RWS is a remote-controlled, light-weight turret weapon station for light- and medium-caliber weapons and can be mounted on any type of platform. The weapon station enables the operator to keep his sights on target, regardless of the ballistic solution for the ammunition in use.

The medium-caliber cannon and coaxial machine gun combined with optional non-lethal effects provides the vehicle crew with the necessary tools to engage in a wide spectrum of situations, Kongsberg said.

The medium-caliber RWS, Kongsberg's largest RWS, was unveiled for the first time to the European market at Eurosatory 2010 in Paris last month.

One model of the protector series was unveiled at General Dynamic's stand at Eurosatory mounted on Mowag's new Piranha Class 5 wheeled armored vehicle. Another model was showcased at the stand for Finnish defense company Patria, mounted on Patria's armored modular vehicle.

Kongsberg has more than 5,400 employees in 25 countries and supplies high-technology systems to customers in the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine sector as well as defense and aerospace industries.

The business went through a major reorganization in January 2009 when its Kongsberg Maritime and Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace were divided into four business units -- Maritime, Oil and Gas, Defense Systems and Protech Systems, which supplies the Protector RWS.

Kongsberg said it has more than 6,000 Protector systems in active service worldwide, mounted on multiple platforms. By last year, Protector had been chosen by 17 countries.

In April, Kongsberg won a $92.2 million contract with the U.S. Army. The contract was part of the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations framework agreement for up to 10,349 systems.

The original CROWS II framework agreement was disclosed to the Oslo Stock Exchange on Aug. 22, 2007, but signed in December 2009.

CROWS is a joint acquisition program for weapon stations for the U.S. Army. A common solution will result in substantial efficiency gains in respect of protection, training, support and further development, said Kongsberg.

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EU clears Volvo takeover by China's Geely
Brussels (AFP) July 6, 2010
The European Union's competition watchdog cleared on Tuesday the takeover of Sweden's Volvo Cars by Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding and the regional investment fund Daqing. The European Commission said the transaction "would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it." The commission found that the overlap bet ... read more

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