nture  TOKYO, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Delphi Automotive Systems and NSK Ltd. today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly pursue  automotive wheel bearing business on a global basis.  Also announced was the creation of a manufacturing joint venture in Brazil as the first outgrowth of this alliance.  The focus of the alliance is on a product line called "The Third Generation Wheel Bearing Unit" or "Hub III," and the emerging markets such as South America, ASEAN, China and Central Europe.  Hub III is a double-row angular contact ball bearing with integral inner and outer mounting flanges for automotive wheel bearing applications.  Bearing  preload is preset with this design enabling easier assembly onto a vehicle. Integral ABS speed sensing may be added to the bearing, enhancing reliability of the sensing function and reducing overall ABS cost.  Hub III was first adopted by GM, and now is being used by other OEM's in North America, Europe and Japan.  Tremendous growth is expected.  Delphi Chassis Division of Delphi Automotive Systems is the world's largest producer of Hub III and supplies GM and others.  NSK, being the second  largest bearing manufacturer, has a broad product line ranging from a conventional bearing to the Hub III design.  With a synergy effect of both companies' strength, the alliance aims to further increase the global share of  Hub III.  As a first step, a joint venture agreement was recently signed to establish a new company in Brazil to manufacture, market and distribute Hub III.  Delphi and NSK will each own 50% of the venture which will be established in an existing NSK production facility located near Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The company will initially manufacture Delphi designed Hub III for vehicles produced by GM do Brazil.  Production is expected to begin early 1999, with an anticipated workforce of about 40 people.  The venture will be named Delco Chassis NSK do Brasil Ltda.  The two companies will conduct feasibility studies for establishing joint venture companies in other emerging markets to manufacture Hub III wheel bearings.  "NSK is known world-wide as a leader in automotive wheel bearing technology and we are pleased to be entering into this relationship with them," said Delphi Automotive President J.T. Battenberg III.  "We believe the combination of advanced Hub III technology and a global manufacturing base provides us with the opportunity to together become the dominant supplier of advanced-technology wheel bearings around the world."  "Our mission is to provide high quality services to our customers in a timely manner on a global basis," said NSK President Tetsuo Sekiya.  "Being a pioneer, Delphi has accumulated tremendous expertise of Hub III.  By combining  the manufacturing, technological and marketing strengths of our companies, we hope to better satisfy customer needs and jointly expand the sale of Hub III."  Delphi Chassis General Manager Alan S. Dawes said, "Today, our customers have truly global requirements.  As the international automotive market continues to expand, automotive OEM's are interested in working with a supplier that can meet their requirements wherever they choose to locate their  assembly plants.  NSK's manufacturing presence in growing and emerging markets  around the world will greatly enhance our ability to supply high quality, advanced technology bearings to global customers."  NSK Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of rolling element bearings and automotive components, as well as precision machine parts.  It employs over 19,000 people at 10 manufacturing  plants located in Japan and other operations in the USA, Europe, Brazil and Indonesia.  It also has joint ventures in Japan, USA, Britain, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and China, as well as sales offices throughout the world.  Delphi Automotive Systems, with headquarters in Troy, Mich., USA, is the world's largest and most diversified supplier of automotive components and systems.  Delphi operates 198 manufacturing facilities, 46 ventures and 17 technical centers in 35 countries.  Regional headquarters are located in Paris, Tokyo and Sao Paulo.  Delphi can be found on the Internet at    SOURCE  Delphi Chassis Systems        /Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 076666/  /Web site:  (GM)  CO:  Delphi Automotive Systems; NSK Ltd. ST:  Michigan IN:  AUT SU:  JVN