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									           MEDIA                   INFORMATION

2 July 1998


    JOINT VENTURE PUTS STEERING TECHNOLOGY ON WORLD AGENDA


Australia’s leading exporter of automotive steering technology has set an aggressive
expansion target for the year 2000.


Bishop Steering aims to have its technology in use on 30 percent of all passenger
motor vehicles worldwide.


It is also working to achieve a penetration of 50% of the rack and pinion steering
market with its variable ratio racks within the next ten years.


Bishop Steering technology is already used on around 8.25 million vehicles annually,
about 25 percent of the world passenger motor vehicle market.


A landmark joint venture agreement signed today between Bishop Steering and
Mercedes-Benz Lenkungen GmbH (MBL), a division of the Daimler-Benz Group
marks the first step in achieving the increase.


The new company will be known as BMB Steering Innovation GmbH.


Announcement of the agreement and the signing of a memorandum of
understanding took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, in mid-May.


MBL managing director, Norbert Fülling, and commercial director, Christian Sanner,
this week travelled to Australia to sign the final agreement and discuss the next
stage of the project.
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JOINT VENTURE PUTS STEERING TECHNOLOGY ON WORLD AGENDA …2




The deal effectively doubles the size of Bishop Steering’s business and is Mercedes-
Benz’s first ever joint venture with an Australian based automotive company.


The joint venture agreement signed at Bishop Steering’s head offices in Sydney
today will lead to a capital investment of up to A$30 million within a year in a new
manufacturing plant under the control of BMB Steering Innovation GmbH.


The new plant will be built at Schönebeck in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.


The site was chosen with the assistance of the Industrial Investment Council in
Berlin. The state government of Saxony-Anhalt is offering significant incentives to
attract investment in the region.


One of the attractions to the joint venture partners was the abundant supply of skilled
labour in the region.


BMB Steering Innovation GmbH will manufacture variable ratio steering racks for the
automotive industry internationally using Bishop’s patented warm forging technology.


Production is expected to begin at a rate of 840,000 racks per year, rising to 1.7
million by 2005.


Mr Fülling said the plant would be designed to accommodate further expansion in
production as required.


Mercedes-Benz is expected to become the first customer of the joint venture, but the
technology will be actively marketed to other automotive manufacturers worldwide.


There is already strong interest among Bishop Steering’s existing customers.


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“We fully expect production from the new plant to be in strong demand from a range
of other automotive companies,” Mr Fülling said.


Bishop Group general manager, Bruce Grey, said the joint venture was the first time
the company had commercialised its steering system designs by taking them
through to the manufacturing phase.


The company has traditionally earned the bulk of its income from the licensing of its
technology to offshore automotive manufacturers.


“We believe the joint venture signed today offers significant opportunity for Australian
designed and owned steering technology to increase its presence in world vehicle
manufacture,” Mr Grey said.


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For more information please contact:
Bruce Grey
Bishop Group General Manager


Amanda Jackson
Bishop Group Public Relations Manager


Ph: (02) 9878 6111
Fax: (02) 9878 6373

								
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