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Trw Automotive Holdings Corp. Business Information, Profile, and History

company percent systems million

12001 Tech Center Drive
Livonia, Michigan 48150-2122
U.S.A.

Company Perspectives:

In early 2003, TRW Automotive began a new adventure when it became in dependent from its former parent company. A new company with a distin guished past, TRW Automotive is now focused solely on the needs of th e automotive market.

TRW Automotive is the global leader in automotive safety systems. One of the top 10 automotive suppliers in the world, the company designs , develops and produces one of the broadest arrays of active and pass ive safety products in the industry. Its active safety systems enhanc e vehicle control and assist in avoiding collisions--while its passiv e safety systems are designed to minimize injury in the event of an a ccident.

While TRW Automotive still has places to go, its Technology Roadmap o ffers a timeline for getting there--and getting drivers and passenger s there more safely. The TRW Automotive team of more than 63,000 empl oyees around the globe is driven by a single vision: Producing the hi gh-quality, safety-enhancing products of today and pioneering the saf ety systems of tomorrow.

History of Trw Automotive Holdings Corp.

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., successor to the conglomerate TRW Inc. , is one of the world's largest automotive parts and systems supplier s, with a primary focus on safety systems. The TRW product lines incl ude air bags, seat belts, and safety- and security-related electronic s, as well as chassis systems and various automotive components. Near ly 60 percent of revenues are attributable to four large customers: F ord Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler AG, Volkswagen AG, and General Mot ors Corporation. The company has more than 200 facilities located in 24 countries; Europe accounts for 55 percent of revenues, and North A merica, another 37 percent.

The old TRW was acquired by Northrop Grumman Corporation in December 2002. Northrop Grumman wanted only TRW's space and defense operations and so sold the TRW automotive business to The Blackstone Group, L.P ., a privately held investment firm, in February 2003. Blackstone the n took the newly named TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. public through a February 2004 initial public offering, after which Blackstone held a 56.7 percent interest in TRW, Northrop Grumman, 17.2 percent (later reduced to less than 10 percent), and TRW management, 1.7 percent.

Shaky Beginnings As Conglomerate

The conglomerate structure of the original TRW was deeply rooted in t he company's history. In the early 1950s the Cleveland-based Thompson Products Co. was looking for an acquisition. J. David Wright, the co mpany's general manager, and Horace Shepard, a vice-president, though t the auto valve and steering component maker needed more technical s ophistication. Thompson, founded in 1901 as Cleveland Cap Screw Co. b efore adopting the Thompson Products moniker in 1926, had made a name for itself in automotive and aircraft engine parts and had become we ll known by sponsoring the famed Thompson Trophy Race, the aeronautic al equivalent of auto racing's Indianapolis 500. In recent years, how ever, the company was facing a decline in manned aircraft and saw opp ortunities in aerospace and electronics.

To break into the young high-tech industry, Wright and Shepard tried to buy Hughes Aircraft Co. Hughes was willing to listen to bids but s coffed at the Thompson offer, which was thought to be ten times too l ow. Just a few months later, two of Hughes Aircraft's top scientist-e xecutives, Simon Ramo and Dean Wooldridge, decided to leave Hughes to form a new electronic systems company, and Thompson put up $500, 000 to bankroll the venture. Not long afterward, in 1953, Ramo-Wooldr idge Corporation was established in Los Angeles and quickly gained so lid standing in the advanced technology business, being awarded the s ystems engineering and technical direction contracts for such importa nt missile programs as Atlas, Minuteman, Titan, and Thor.

By 1958 Thompson Products had invested $20 million--20 percent of its net worth at the time--for a 49 percent interest in Ramo-Wooldri dge, and the two operations were merged as Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge C orporation. Though united on paper, the company maintained separate c orporate headquarters, with Wooldridge president in Los Angeles and W right chairman in Cleveland. Ramo and Shepard, a former chief of prod uction procurement for the Air Force, also had an active role in mana gement.

The merger could hardly have started less auspiciously. In the midst of a recession, the Cleveland-based group was hit with a 14 percent d rop in automotive business and a 34 percent drop in manned aircraft b usiness. When business improved for the Cleveland division, the Los A ngeles division got into trouble. Its venture into semiconductors col lapsed in 1961, and the Robert McNamara era was beginning at the Pent agon. The West Coast scientists, who had known only cost-plus-fixed-f ee contracts, needed help. They had to learn how to go from spending money to making it. This education was hampered by hard feelings betw een the two groups. The electronics end was not living up to its prom ise of being the business of the future. In the first four years foll owing the merger, profit margins, which had been at the 4 percent-plu s level in the mid-1950s, dropped to an average of barely 2 percent.

With the company facing such mundane tasks as cost-cutting, Wooldridg e, who reportedly never really wanted to be a businessman anyway, res igned in 1962. As Wooldridge was getting settled in at his new job as a professor at the California Institute of Technology, Shepard was p romoted to president and Ramo named vice-chairman. With Cleveland now in control of the company, the Los Angeles scientists were quickly r eassured when the new management team instituted a number of reforms to get the company back on its feet, including writing off $3 mil lion in inventory.

In 1963 Shepard and Wright began pruning unprofitable divisions. They sold most of the unprofitable Bumkor-Ramo computer division to Marti n Marietta. The company retained partial ownership in Bumkor-Ramo but no longer played a large role in the company's plans. Shepard and Wr ight continued hammering out the company's plans for long-term growth , seeking specifically to raise profit margins. To this end, in 1964 they sold the microwave division and the division that made hi-fideli ty components, intercoms, and language laboratories.

To shore up the company's auto parts division, they bought Ross Gear and Tool Company, a maker of mechanical and power steering units, and Marlin-Rockwell, a ball bearings manufacturer. The 7 percent profit margin of the new acquisitions, which had a combined profit of $5 .7 million on sales of $76.5 million, helped boost TRW's overall margin to 4 percent in 1964, up a percentage point from a year earlie r.

Improving Prospects As TRW Inc.

In 1965, in another look toward the future, Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge adopted a shorter, less cumbersome name, the now household initials T RW Inc. Also in that year, the company's investment in aerospace and electronics became increasingly clear. In the previous decade, sales in space and electronics shot up from $14 million to $200 mil lion. Despite that dramatic growth, the company's earnings still came mostly from its oldest business, auto parts. New and replacement par ts accounted for 34 percent of TRW's $553 million in sales and 40 percent of its earnings. Chief among those products were its steerin g linkages, valves, and braking devices that it sold to General Motor s, Ford, and Chrysler Corporation.

TRW's prospects improved in 1966. An auto parts boom helped the compa ny's profitability. The Cleveland-based automotive group had a return of 6 percent on sales of $350 million. The equipment group, also in Cleveland, had an increase of sales to $200 million in aerosp ace and ordinance technology but lower profit margins because of star t-up costs for unexpected demand in commercial aircraft. The Los Ange les-based TRW Systems had $250 million in sales and a 3 percent p rofit margin building and designing spacecraft and doing research. To tals were up to $870 million in sales for TRW, producing $36 million in profit for a 4.2 percent return. Even with the upturn in s ales, the company was relying less on government contracts, down to a bout 44 percent from 70 percent ten years earlier.

With the company's finances on the upturn, the wrangling between Los Angeles and Cleveland declined. As Business Week reported, the discord was "under control, if not cured." The company continued tig htening its operations in 1966. It bought United Carr, producer of au tomotive electronics, with $122 million in sales and sold its one consumer business, a hi-fi manufacturer. The late 1960s saw TRW pion eer in such auto technologies as rack and pinion steering and antiloc k braking systems.

TRW had grown into a conglomerate, a term disliked by company managem ent. In 1969 TRW operated six groups that, in turn, administered 55 d ivisions. The company derived 32 percent of its revenues from aerospa ce products and systems and computer software, 28 percent from vehicl e components for autos and trucks, 23 percent from electronic compone nts and communication, and 17 percent from industrial products rangin g from mechanical fasteners to automated controls.

To manage the increasingly far-flung company, TRW maintained strict m anagement control over all operations. By encouraging communication b etween all levels of management and holding monthly manager meetings, TRW avoided the problems that had plagued other conglomerates. Anoth er of TRW's successful management styles caught Fortune's eye in 1966. The magazine covered in depth the happenings of a TRW manage ment meeting in Vermont, where 49 of the company's top executives had gathered annually since 1952 at an old farmhouse to think about the company's future.

TRW continued beefing up its auto parts business, acquiring Globe Ind ustries, a Dayton-based maker of miniature AC and DC electric motors. At the same time, TRW's electronics group had grown to more than 20 plants in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company continue d to evade problems that had plagued other conglomerates, posting a s light pretax gain of 16.4 percent, above the industry average of 13.3 percent.

In 1969 TRW named a new president, Ruben F. Mettler. One of his first big projects was a contract for a laboratory that NASA would send on the Viking probe to Mars. TRW won the challenge to provide one black box weighing 33 pounds with complex instruments capable of making bi ological and chemical tests to detect the most primitive forms of lif e. The NASA contract was worth only $50 million, not a big financ ial risk for a multibillion-dollar company like TRW, but the job was important for the company's prestige.

The auto parts business, in the meantime, was once again proving to b e immune to cyclical trends in car output. The market for new parts w as in a slump, but it was made up for by the accompanying increase in demand for replacement cars as consumers kept their cars on the road s longer. TRW also announced a move into business credit reporting, c hallenging Dun & Bradstreet.

The company's sound financial condition was unmistakable. For the fiv e years preceding 1970, the company had average annual earnings and s ales increases of 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively. But offici als conceded that the company could not keep growing at that rate for ever. It had acquired 38 companies through 1968, a pace it would not be able to maintain indefinitely. The company looked for future growt h to run about 10 percent.

Risky Ventures in the 1970s and Early 1980s

The company's skillful management again became apparent in 1971, when TRW was forced to make cuts because of an aerospace recession. Its T RW Systems division had to cut the number of employees by 15 percent. Managers were not spared cuts either; 18 percent of the professional staff was laid off. The company's open management style enabled TRW to build a strong enough relationship with its employees that two-thi rds of them were nonunion, perhaps preventing the labor squabbles tha t had appeared in other companies. Meanwhile, in a move more clearly important in hindsight, TRW's auto business entered the field of occu pant restraints through the purchase of the German firm Repa.

TRW made a risky venture in 1976, entering the tricky market of elect ronic point-of-sale (POS) machines. Those machines had boosted profit s for retailers, but not for manufacturers. Its proposed 2001 system targeted the general market and cost $4,000 per unit, similar to competitors. TRW's move into POS was largely a defensive tactic. The electronic credit authorization business it had pioneered in the 1960 s was coming under increasing competition. Then NCR, the overall lead er in POS machines, launched a POS system incorporating credit checki ng in 1975. TRW attempted to enter the market with an established cus tomer base by acquiring the service contracts for the 65,000 customer s Singer had built up during its short, ill-fated move into the POS m arket. TRW remained cautious, however, delivering only 200 to 300 mac hines in 1976, mostly to the May Co. Altogether that year nonfood ret ailers ordered 24,500 POS terminals worth $94 million, and the ma rket was picking up.

In 1976 TRW achieved the moment of glory it had long awaited with Vik ing's historic landing on Mars. The company took out full-page newspa per ads proclaiming "That lab is our baby." Appropriately, Mettler, 5 2, who had pushed for TRW to compete for the Viking contract, was nam ed to succeed Horace A. Shepard as chairman and chief executive offic er when Shepard retired the next year.

Aerospace ventures continued to play an important role in the company 's finances. In 1977 TRW was still the chief engineer for U.S. interc ontinental ballistic missiles. Aerospace and government electronic re venues were providing a cool $60 million in profits on revenue of $440 million. The electronics division had $300 million in s ales. The data communications unit was also doing well with over $ ;150 million in sales. It had established a retail credit bureau, a b usiness credit system, and was an international maker of data communi cations equipment. Nevertheless, auto and commercial parts were still accounting for twice as much in sales and five times as much in earn ings.

In 1980 TRW and Fujitsu Limited, Japan's largest computer maker, form ed a joint venture. TRW had a 3,000-person service organization, repo rtedly the largest independent network in the United States for data process maintenance, with a special team to develop software. Each co mpany invested $100 million, with Fujitsu keeping a 51 percent sh are and TRW, 45 percent. TRW initiated the venture, seeking a foreign partner to perform maintenance work for its POSs. Fujitsu, which ear ned 68 percent of its revenue from data processing, was eager to expa nd overseas to increase its economies of scale to compete with Intern ational Business Machines Corporation (IBM) back home. Fujitsu named a majority of the directors of the new company so it could qualify fo r Japanese export and financing tax breaks, but TRW took charge of ru nning it. One of the new company's first moves was to buy TRW's ailin g POS and ATM maker division. The company, hoping in the beginning to capture a large segment of the small and medium-sized computer marke t, predicted sales of $500 million to $1 billion by the decad e's end.

Despite TRW's careful planning, the POS and Fujitsu deals both proved unsuccessful. The competition from established POS makers, particula rly IBM and NCR, was too great. Nonetheless, TRW remained a strong, h ighly visible company. Forbes in 1983 called it "a paragon" fo r other conglomerates. It had by then grown to $5 billion in sale s spread across 47 different businesses and had 300 locations in 25 c ountries. It had also grown to be the number one producer of valves f or automobiles and aircraft plus a wide range of other products. With a 16 percent return on stockholders' equity as proof, Forbes called TRW one of the best managed, most successful American companie s. This outward success, however, belied the company's growing ineffi ciency.

Late 1980s and Early 1990s: Restructuring, Auto Products, Air Bags

By the time Joseph T. Gorman was named president and chief operating officer of TRW in 1985 (he became chairman, president, and chief exec utive officer in 1988 when Chairman Ruben Mettler retired), the compa ny had grown bloated, inefficient, and overdiversified. It hit a low in 1985 when it lost $7 million on sales of $5.92 billion. Me ttler and Gorman instituted a three-year restructuring plan that aime d to focus resources on core businesses, to slash staff, and to incre ase efficiency. The new TRW would concentrate on three main areas: au tomotive products, space and defense projects, and information system s and services. Among the noncore businesses divested were the firm's energy division. Staff was reduced from 93,200 in 1985 to 73,200 in 1988.

From 1986 to 1990, TRW's financial outlook improved somewhat with the new corporate structure. Although sales rose each year to a high of $8.17 billion in 1990, profits were stagnant and actually fell fr om 3.7 percent in 1988 to 3.6 percent in 1989 to 2.6 percent in 1990.

In 1989 TRW made a huge and risky commitment to what at the time was an unprofitable business: air bags. That year it purchased Talley Ind ustries Inc.'s driver-side air bag unit for $85 million, plus roy alties on any air bag sold in North America through the year 2001. TR W also began to invest in the development of passenger-side air bags. In total, the company invested more than half a billion dollars in i ts air-bag business by 1992. Until the fourth quarter of 1991, TRW lo st money on air bags. Although Ford had chosen TRW as its sole suppli er of the safety devices in 1989, TRW's fortunes suffered in 1990 bec ause of a Ford recall of 55,000 vehicles with defective air bags and a massive fire at TRW's passenger-side air-bag plant (TRW air bags us ed sodium azide as its propellant, a chemical prone to explode in the manufacturing process). TRW's automotive business also suffered from a recession in the automotive industry in 1989 and 1990.

The space and defense sectors of TRW were also suffering from the end of the Cold War and the resultant leveling off in defense spending. With its two main sectors down, overall TRW sales for 1991 fell 3.1 p ercent to $7.91 billion. Gorman embarked on another restructuring late that year, incurring a $365 million charge that resulted in a $140 million loss for the year. This restructuring aimed to re make TRW into primarily an automotive products company, with reduced operations and investments in the space and defense and information s ectors. With air bags now profitable and generating $600 million in annual revenue, the company aimed to take advantage of their incre asing popularity with consumers and the mandatory inclusion of dual a ir bags in vehicles by the year 1998. Gorman also set his sights on o verseas markets not only for air bags but also for TRW's power-steeri ng systems and engine valves.

By 1994, TRW's automotive operations accounted for 63 percent of tota l sales, compared to 56 percent in 1992 (and 40 percent in the early 1980s), whereas space and defense accounted for only 31 percent, comp ared to 35 percent in 1992 (and 50 percent in the early 1980s). The d efense operations were also reduced, with sales to the U.S. governmen t falling to 28 percent of total sales, compared to the 45 percent fi gure of the late 1980s. Meanwhile, international sales accounted for 35 percent of total sales in 1994 (compared to 25 percent in 1985), l ed by sales to Japanese automakers of $800 million. The 1994 sale s total of $9.09 billion represented a 14.3 percent increase over the previous year. On the negative side, Talley Industries brought a lawsuit against TRW in 1994, which resulted in a $138 million ju dgment against TRW the following year.

Late 1990s: Divesting Info Systems Unit, Bolstering Auto Business Through Acquisitions

Further paring down to the core, TRW in 1996 sold off the bulk of its TRW Information Systems and Services Inc. unit for a little more tha n $1 billion to a buyout group led by Thomas H. Lee Co. and Bain Capital, Inc. (The new owners quickly resold the unit, now named Expe rian Corp., to the Great Universal Stores plc, a U.K. firm later rena med GUS plc.) Later in 1996 TRW closed several of its automotive plan ts and laid off 2,300 workers amid increased competition in the autom otive safety system sector. The following year proceeds from the info rmation systems divestiture were used to help fund two significant ac quisitions. On the automotive side, TRW bought majority control of th e air bag and steering wheel businesses of Magna International Inc. f or about $418 million. The units, based in Germany, had 1996 sale s of $688 million. Also acquired in 1997 was BDM International In c., a provider of information technology to the government and defens e sectors. BDM, based in McLean, Virginia, was bought for about $ 975 million, making the deal the largest yet in TRW's history. Late i n 1997 TRW pulled the plug on its $3.5 billion Odyssey satellite system, a joint venture with Montreal-based Teleglobe Inc. After year s of development, TRW had been unable to secure sufficient backing fr om other major telecommunications firms for this proposed satellite p hone service.

Under intense pressure to cut costs to stay competitive, TRW announce d plans in July 1998 to shut down more than a dozen of its automotive plants and cut that sector of its workforce by 7,500, aiming to elim inate about $100 million in annual operating costs. During this p eriod, there was persistent speculation about (and pressure from Wall Street for) a breakup of the company--specifically, a spinoff of the automotive operations that would enable TRW to concentrate solely on the better-performing space, defense, and information operations. Th ere was much surprise and some skepticism as well, then, when TRW in January 1999 agreed to acquire the British auto-parts firm LucasVarit y plc for $7 billion in cash. LucasVarity, the product of a 1996 merger of Lucas Industries Plc and Varity Corporation, was a leading producer of automotive brakes, and the merger was expected to enable TRW to make integrated systems involving TRW's steering and suspensio n components and the acquired firm's brakes. The combination was expe cted to yield annual cost savings of between $200 million and 6;300 million. The deal closed in May 1999.

The acquisition of LucasVarity pushed TRW's debt load to a staggering $9.3 billion. Gorman had to find ways to relieve the company of some of this burden, and toward a goal of cutting debt by $2.5 bi llion TRW divested several noncore automotive units by early 2000. Th e largest unit jettisoned was Lucas Diesel Systems, maker of diesel f uel-injection parts, sold to Delphi Automotive Systems Corporation fo r $871 million. Late in 1999, in the meantime, David M. Cote was brought onboard as president and chief operating officer as well as h eir apparent to Gorman. Cote was a 25-year veteran of General Electri c Company (GE), where he most recently served as head of the $5.6 billion appliances unit.

Ending of the TRW Conglomerate Era with 2002 Northrop Grumman Take over

TRW's automotive operations now generated nearly two-thirds of TRW's sales, which totaled $17.2 billion in 2000. That year, a slowdown in the U.S. auto industry led to a 17 percent drop in profits to 6;471.2 million. After Cote took over as CEO in February 2001 (and th en chairman that summer), he cut several thousands jobs from the payr oll, replaced eight key executives, and reduced the massive debt by a bout $1 billion. In contrast to the more autocratic Gorman, Cote moved to decentralize the TRW operations, consolidating the firm's au tomotive businesses into one unit, TRW Automotive, based in Livonia, Michigan. Analysts continued to call for the divestment of the automo tive unit, but Cote's hands were tied: The still massive debt and a s lumping auto industry made such a move next to impossible.

Cote also did not stick around long enough for conditions to become f avorable for such a move. In February 2002 he abruptly resigned when offered the chance to succeed Lawrence Bossidy, his mentor at GE, as head of Honeywell International Inc. Cote's stunning departure precip itated a slide in TRW's stock, which opened the door for a near immed iate hostile takeover bid by Northrop Grumman Corporation, which offe red $47 per share, or about $5.8 billion in stock, plus the a ssumption of $5 billion in debt. TRW, now led on an interim basis by Philip Odeen, who had run the firm's Washington office for many y ears before semi-retiring, quickly rejected the offer and announced p lans to sell off its aeronautical systems unit and to spin the automo tive unit off to shareholders. Northrop raised its bid to $53 per share in April, bumping the total price up to $11.9 billion, but TRW continued to resist. In June the company reached an agreement to sell the aeronautical unit to Goodrich Corporation for $1.5 bill ion (a deal completed in October), and it also began soliciting bids for all or parts of the company from other defense firms. BAE Systems plc, General Dynamics Corporation, and Raytheon Company all submitte d bids, but in the end Northrop prevailed by boosting its bid again, to $60 a share, or $7.8 billion plus the assumption of $4 billion in debt.

New Beginnings As TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

Northrop Grumman completed its takeover of TRW in December 2002. In t he interim, Northrop found a buyer for TRW Automotive. The Blackstone Group, L.P., a privately held investment firm, agreed to buy the uni t in a $4.72 billion deal announced in November and completed in February 2003. The newly named TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. was head ed by John C. Plant, who had been president and CEO of the former TRW 's automotive business since 2001. He had come to TRW via the LucasVa rity acquisition. TRW Automotive, which reported first-year revenues in 2003 of $11.35 billion, stood as one of the ten largest automo tive suppliers in North America with significant operations in Europe as well. Primarily focused on active and passive safety- and securit y-related automotive parts and systems, the new TRW also produced ste ering systems, engine valves, fasteners, and suspension components.

Blackstone took TRW public in February 2004, selling 24.1 million sha res of common stock at $28 per share. This reduced Blackstone's 7 8.4 percent stake in TRW to 56.7 percent, and Northrop Grumman's inte rest from 19.6 percent to 17.2 percent. (Northrop sold 7.26 million o f its TRW shares in early 2005, further reducing its stake to just un der 10 percent.) TRW Automotive got off to a rough start because of t he continuing struggles of U.S. automakers, who were placing intense pricing pressure on their suppliers, and because of high raw-material costs. As it sought future growth through emerging areas of auto saf ety such as side and curtain air bags, front crash sensors, vehicle s tability systems, and tire pressure monitoring systems, TRW also was targeting growth in China by setting up several ventures there. TRW w orked as well to pay down its still heavy debt load, a hangover from a combination of debt inherited from the former TRW and debt incurred through Blackstone's leveraged buyout. Cost-cutting efforts helped c ut long-term debt from $3.71 billion to $3.12 billion during 2004. The following year the company announced the closure of several more plants as well as a modest acquisition. In September 2005 TRW r eached an agreement to acquire majority control of Dalphi Metal Espan a, S.A. for $240 million. Based in Madrid, Spain, Dalphi produced steering wheels and air bags for a variety of Europan carmakers, mak ing for a nice fit with TRW's existing operations.

Principal Subsidiaries: Kelsey-Hayes Company; Lake Center Indu stries Transportation Inc.; REMSA of America, Inc.; TRW Automotive In c.; TRW Automotive U.S. LLC; TRW Safety Systems Inc.; TRW Vehicle Saf ety Systems Inc.; TRW Occupant Restraint Systems GmbH (Austria); SM S istemas Modulares Ltda. (Brazil); TRW Automotive Ltda. (Brazil); Kels ey-Hayes Canada Limited; TRW Canada Limited; CSG TRW Chassis Systems (China); Shanghai TRW Automotive Safety Systems Co., Ltd. (China); TR W Automotive Component Technical Service (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (China) ; TRW Automotive Components (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (China); TRW Automot ive Research & Development Co., Ltd. (China); TRW Engine Componen ts (Langfang) Corp. Ltd. (China); TRW Fawer Commercial Vehicle Steeri ng Company Ltd. (China); TRW System Consulting Services Shanghai Co., Ltd. (China); Lucas Autobrzdy s.r.o. (Czech Republic); LucasVarity s .r.o. (Czech Republic); TRW Autoelektronika s.r.o. (Czech Republic); TRW Carr s.r.o. (Czech Republic); TRW-DAS a.s. (Czech Republic); TRW Volant a.s. (Czech Republic); Autocruise SA (France); La Source Compo sants Moteurs S.A. (France); TRW Automotive Distribution France S.A.S .; TRW Carr France SNC; TRW Composants Moteurs S.A. (France); TRW Fra nce S.A.S.; TRW Systemes de Freinage S.A.S. (France); Lucas Automotiv e GmbH (Germany); TRW Advanced Plastics Technologies GmbH & Co. K G (Germany); TRW Airbag Systems GmbH (Germany); TRW Automotive Electr onics & Components GmbH & Co. KG (Germany); TRW Automotive Gm bH (Germany); TRW Automotive Safety Systems GmbH (Germany); TRW KFZ A usrustung GmbH (Germany); TRW Automotive Italia S.p.A. (Italy); TRW A utomotive Ricambi Italia SpA (Italy); TRW Aftermarket Japan Co. Ltd.; TRW Automotive Japan Co., Ltd.; TRW Controls & Fasteners Inc. (K orea); TRW Overseas Inc. (Korea); Lucas Automotive Sdn Bdh (Malaysia) ; LucasVarity (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia); TRW Steering & Suspension (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia); Forjas y Maquinas, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico); Frenos y Mecanismos SA de CV (Mexico); Reinvestmientos Especiales de Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V.; TRW Electronica Ensambles S.A. de C.V. (Me xico); TRW Occupant Restraints de Chihuahua SA de CV (Mexico); TRW Si stemas de Direcciones, S.A. de C.V. (Mexico); TRW Steering Wheel Syst ems de Chihuahua SA de CV (Mexico); TRW Vehicle Safety Systems de Mex ico S.A. de C.V.; TRW Braking Systems Polska Sp. z o.o. (Poland); TRW Polska Sp. z o.o. (Poland); TRW Steering Systems Poland Sp.z o.o.; L ucas Automotive Pecas e Automoveis, Ltda. (Portugal); TRW Automotive Safety Systems S.R.L. (Romania); TRW Occupant Restraints South Africa Inc.; Eurofren Brakes, S.L.U. (Spain); TRW Automotive Espana, S.L. ( Spain); TRW Switzerland GmbH; LucasVarity (Thailand) Co. Ltd.; TRW St eering & Suspension Co. Ltd. (Thailand); TRW Otomotiv Dagitim ve Ticaret A.S.(Turkey); Components Venezolanos de Direccion, S.A. (Vene zuela); TRW Automotive Systems Ltd. (U.K.); TRW Fastening Systems Ltd . (U.K.); TRW Limited (U.K.); TRW LucasVarity Electric Steering Ltd. (U.K.); TRW Steering Systems Ltd. (U.K.); TRW Systems Ltd. (U.K.).

Principal Competitors: Delphi Corporation; Robert Bosch GmbH; Continental Teves, Inc.; Visteon Corporation; Koyo Seiko Co., Ltd.; Z F Friedrichshafen AG; Advics Co., Ltd.; Autoliv, Inc.; Takata Corpora tion; Key Safety Systems, Inc.; Illinois Tool Works Inc.; Raymond Lim ited; Nifco Inc.; Textron Inc.; Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG; Val eo; Tokai Rika Co., Ltd.; Eaton Corporation.

Chronology

  • Key Dates:
  • 1901: Cleveland Cap Screw Co. is founded in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1926: Company is renamed Thompson Products Co.
  • 1953: Specializing in missile systems, Ramo-Wooldridge Corpora tion is formed in Los Angeles with backing from Thompson Products.
  • 1958: The two companies merge as Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge Corp oration.
  • 1965: Company is renamed TRW Inc.
  • 1972: Through purchase of the German firm Repa, TRW's auto bus iness enters the field of occupant restraints.
  • 1989: TRW acquires Talley Industries Inc.'s driver-side air ba g unit.
  • 1996: TRW divests its Information Systems and Services unit, w hich is later renamed Experian Corp.
  • 1997: The air bag and steering wheel businesses of Magna Inter national Inc. are acquired.
  • 1999: British auto-parts maker LucasVarity plc is acquired for $7 billion.
  • 2002: Northrop Grumman Corporation acquires TRW in an $11. 8 billion deal.
  • 2003: The Blackstone Group, L.P. acquires TRW's automotive uni t, which begins operating as TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. and is bas ed in Livonia, Michigan.
  • 2004: Blackstone takes TRW Automotive public.
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