ArvinMeritor, Inc. announced today that, effective January 2003, its long-standing joint venture with Quimmco, S.A C.V. of Monterrey, Mexico, will be restructured, resulting in an increase in the level of participation that the global component and systems supplier currently maintains with the joint venture, Dirona, S.A., which is located in Monterrey, Mexico. The joint venture will be renamed Sistemas Automotrices de Mexico and will be mutually managed by ArvinMeritor and Quimmco. The restructured joint venture will establish a 50/50 partnership focused on manufacturing and supplying a combined offering of Dirona, Sudisa and Meritor brands of products (axles, air brakes and drivelines) for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks and trailers to vehicle manufacturers’ facilities located in Mexico through ArvinMeritor. Additionally, the restructured joint venture will play an expanded role supplying ArvinMeritor and its customers globally.“We’re enhancing a long-term joint venture by further combining ArvinMeritor’s marketing position and product technology with Quimmco established manufacturing and operations expertise,” said Tom Gosnell, senior vice president of ArvinMeritor and president of the company’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business group. “The restructuring is aligned with Quimmco’s corporate strategy of developing its partnerships with world-class industry leaders to capitalize on opportunities for higher volumes and increased market penetration,” said Jesús L. Barrera, chief executive officer of Quimmco.Dirona was founded in June 1975 as a joint venture between Dina, Rockwell Automotive (now ArvinMeritor) and Nacional Financiera as a supplier of rear and front axles, brakes and other related commercial vehicle components. Sudisa, which is now owned by Dirona, was a manufacturer and distributor of trailer axles to original equipment manufacturers. According to Gosnell, ArvinMeritor will assume primary engineering, marketing and sales leadership in the Mexican market for the OE and aftermarket channels. “This will be accomplished by combining the established Dirona and Sudisa staffs with those of ArvinMeritor, thereby leveraging the combined experience of both teams,” he said.ArvinMeritor has a strong and established brand portfolio in the United States and Canada. With this important development, ArvinMeritor’s aftermarket efforts will further expand its leading product positions into Mexico, with the most complete line of commercial vehicle drivetrain, braking and undercarriage assemblies and components. The specific components include truck steer and drive axles, trailer axles, trailer suspensions and tire inflation systems, drivelines, transmissions, brake components, clutches and wheel-end components. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and related componentry is supplied by Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems, a long-standing brake supplier to the Mexican commercial vehicle market.