Cignet Acquires New Plant in France to Serve European Customers


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Chicago — In September 2003, Cignet completed the acquisition of the SiemensVDO assembly plant in Jarville, France, a suburb of Nancy in eastern France. The plant has 231 employees.Cignet's strategy now is to apply the business model that has proven to be successful for many years at Flight Systems Electronic Group, a Cignet company in the United States, to European car manufacturers and their system suppliers. This entails gradually implementing a flexible production scheme to handle low volume service part runs, resulting in better bottom-line results for its customers. The Jarville plant is a modern, high-tech internationally structured assembly plant in which instrument clusters and round gauges are assembled for SiemensVDO. The products manufactured are primarily distributed to Peugeot, Citroën and Renault in the passenger car industry, to DaimlerChrysler, Scania and MAN in the commercial vehicle industry and to customers worldwide in the aftermarket arena as well as the marine industry. The plant has more than 30 years experience in supplying the automotive industry.Cignet Electronics SAS will expand its capabilities over the course of the current year. Several high-speed electronics surface mount device (SMD) assembly lines already are being installed and will be operational before April 2004.The capability to remanufacture electronics and instrument clusters will also be introduced during the same period.In order to move from high-volume mechanical assembly of instrument clusters to low-volume electronic board production for cars and reconditioning of clusters, employee skills will need to change. To address this situation, Cignet Electronics SAS is implementing an ambitious training program that will allow the current personnel to acquire the necessary skills. The company's goal is to completely transform the activity by 2007 and become a leading European manufacturer of electronic service parts for the automotive industry. Activity will then include electronic engine and transmission controllers, antilock braking systems, and recalibration and recertification of speedometers and instrument clusters. Cignet Electronics SAS fulfills all quality standards required by car manufacturers: ISO TS 16949 (Version 1999), ISO 90002 (Version 1994) and ISO 14001 (Version 1996).

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