Firms set up power-steering venture

Toyota Motor Corp. and three of its group companies said Thursday they will establish a joint venture specializing in the development and sales of electric power steering and electric-hydraulic power steering (EPS) systems on Nov. 1.

Favess Co., to be capitalized at 480 million yen, will be owned 45 percent by Koyo Seiko Co., 35 percent by Toyoda Machine Works Ltd., 10 percent by Denso Corp. and 10 percent by Toyota.

The new venture will allow the four firms to respond to growing demand for EPS systems by concentrating their resources and technology, they said.

EPS systems contribute to greater automobile fuel efficiency and give a higher level of control than conventional hydraulic power steering systems, they said.

Favess, which will be based in Aichi Prefecture and is scheduled to begin operations in February, is expected to chalk up sales of 30 billion yen in fiscal 2003, rising to 50 billion yen in fiscal 2005.

Koyo Seiko is a major bearing manufacture, Toyoda Machine Works makes machine tools and Denso manufactures car electronic and electrical parts.