Relay race

Omron and Bitron Industrie of Italy are to create an automotive relay joint venture. The outfit, called Omron Bitron Automotive Components, will be located in Alatri, Italy and start operations in October this year.

Under the terms of the agreement, signed on July 28th at Bitron’s headquarters in Torino, Italy, Bitron will transfer its automotive relay division to the joint venture company.

Omron Bitron Automotive Components will focus on the European market to produce and sell a complete line of automotive relays. Omron will hold 75% of the new company, which will continue to produce its existing product range and add new products to meet customer demands.

Omron Automotive Electronics in the UK and its German development unit IMS VISION, presently produce and sell European products that include PCB type relays and related electronic controls and switches, while Bitron has established production for plug-in type relays and modules.

The Bitron group has eight factories within Italy and four outside Italy. Bitron is presently one of the leading companies for plug-in type automotive relays in Europe, with a product lineup that includes micro ISO relays, mini ISO relays, glow plug relays and others.

Customers include major automotive makers and automotive system suppliers. In addition to its relay business, to be acquired under the agreement with Omron, Bitron also manufactures and sells different type of sensors, visible and hidden switches and other mechatronic components for automotive applications, which will remain unaffected.