By Patrick Raleigh ERJ On-line news editor
Ludwigsburg, Germany- Beru AG's tyre pressure monitoring (TPM) systems business has posted a 62-percent sales increase to Euro21.7 million for the first nine months of its fiscal year ended 31 March 2004.
Beru linked the advance to rising demand for Porsche, DaimlerChrysler and VW Group models, on which its TPM systems are offered, and their introduction on the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. The system will also be fitted on two volume Audi models with TSS, added Beru, which is also hopeful of winning fresh orders from European cars makers this year.
Beru's hopes of making in-roads in the North American market, meanwhile, hinge on the outcome of a legislative revision, after a US court ruled that a law requiring tyre pressure monitors be fitted on new cars was unconstitutional.
The ruling was partly based on concerns about the effectiveness of indirect monitoring systems, which are lower cost alternative to Beru's direct TPM systems. A US announcement about revised tyre safety legislation is expected in the next few weeks.
â€œIf the regulations for indirect monitoring systems are made stricter or prohibited, there will be improved market opportunities for direct monitoring systems, which measure tyre pressure directly and precisely using pressure and temperature sensors inside the tyres," said Beru.
Beru has an alliance with Lear Corp., of Southfield, Michigan, for the development, production and distribution of TPM systems in North America. The alliance plans to begin projects with Ford and Kia/Hyundai in 2005.