Siemens management has announced the official launch of Siemens VDO Automotive Corp. The move marks the final step in the formation of the automotive electronics supplier’s United States operations. This now completes the company’s global transition to Siemens VDO Automotive, securing its position as one of one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive electronics. Siemens VDO Automotive Corp. will be headquartered at the company’s Detroit area campus, located in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Detroit campuses, which host approximately 750 employees in Auburn Hills, Troy and Dearborn, will serve as part of the company’s world headquarters responsible for a variety of organizational functions such as, global purchasing, sales and business development. The former VDO North America LLC facility, located in Troy, Mich., becomes the new company’s fourth Detroit area campus. The merger of Siemens Automotive Corp. and VDO North America LLC operations is a vital part of the company’s global growth strategy. “The U.S. market, in spite of the current industry downturn, still represents double-digit growth in terms of expanded or new business for Siemens VDO Automotive over the next five years and serves as one of our most important growth markets worldwide,” said John Sanderson, president and CEO, Siemens VDO Automotive Corp. According to Sanderson, the combined automotive electronics engineering and manufacturing expertise of Siemens and VDO puts the merged organization in an advantageous position to capitalize on new and emerging product areas that offer Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) a range of optimized, cost- effective solutions in key vehicle growth areas. These include occupant safety and security, powertrain fuel economy and emissions, occupant comfort and convenience and car communications and driver information. Sanderson cited a recent example of the optimized customer solutions resulting from merged Siemens and VDO Expertise in the company’s TireGuard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), soon to be in production for North American and European vehicle makers. “TireGuard was originally developed by Siemens Automotive prior to the merger with VDO,” said Sanderson. “Now this product’s application can be further enhanced by VDO’s industry-leading expertise in instrumentation and driver information, a critical capability required for the implementation of tire warning systems.” With combined sales in a shortened fiscal year of approximately $5 billion U.S. in 2001, Siemens VDO Automotive AG now serves the global automotive industry as a leading global automotive electronics company. Advanced automotive electronics products account for more than 60 percent of the company’s entire product portfolio, which comprises approximately 2,000 different automotive products. Some 70 percent of the company’s products are less than three years old, while 20 percent have spent less than a year in the market place. “The rapid market transition of our products is indicative of the steady penetration of electronics in vast and new automotive applications,” said Sanderson. “Though slowed by the current industry downturn, automotive electronics remains the fastest growing segment of the auto industry at eight to 10 percent annually.” Siemens VDO Automotive AG and its affiliates employ 5,500 engineers and scientists worldwide, more than 10 percent (approximately 600) of whom are based in the company’s Detroit headquarters. In total, the Siemens VDO Automotive engineers account for more than 15,000 patents, which is expected to increase to 25,000 patents by 2004. Siemens VDO Automotive AG is one of the world’s leading suppliers of electronics, electrical and mechatronic technologies to the automotive industry. As a development partner in the automotive industry, the company manufactures products for powertrain, engine control electronics and fuel injection technology that improve engine performance and reduce emissions. The company is a market leader in powertrain systems, information and car communication systems with instrumentation, audio and navigation systems, telematics and multimedia applications through to complete cockpits. Siemens VDO Automotive AG products for chassis and carbody contribute to greater vehicle safety and security. These products include ABS electronics and fuel tank systems and access control systems. A separate Trading/ Aftermarket division markets products for retrofitting in cars and commercial vehicles. The company was created in April 2001 as a result of the merger between Siemens Automotive AG and Mannesmann VDO.