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DETROIT-Tier I auto supplier ArvinMeritor, Inc. has opened a $40-million technology center in a Detroit enterprise tax zone. The Troy-based company opened the light vehicle systems technology center in southwest Detroit.

The four-story high-tech modern office complex was built adjacent to the company’s roof and suspension assembly plant, which opened as “phase one” in 2001. Located in the middle of Detroit’s largest Renaissance Zone, Southwest/Delray, the center is home to more than 200 LVS employees who have responsibility for North American product design, engineering, sales, marketing and administrative functions, and more than 250 hourly production employees.

“It begins with getting closer to your customer,” ArvinMeritor chairman and chief executive officer Larry Yost said about the company’s decision to locate the facility in Detroit. “About five years ago, a majority of our light vehicle design and engineering resources were based outside of the United States. To effectively support our North American customers growing requirements for system design management, we needed to make an investment and grow our light vehicle technology base in this region. At the same time, we recognized the opportunity to make a difference in Detroit and support its revitalization.”

ArvinMeritor’s Light Vehicle Systems business group posted $4.4 billion in sales during fiscal year 2003, and employs 18,000 people at 65 facilities in 23 countries.

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