Mahle drops Cosworth name

Cosworth, one of the UK's best-known names in high-performance engineering, has been dropped by Mahle, the German automotive group that bought Cosworth Technology from Volkswagen's Audi division earlier this year. The British concern, which has 650 employees in the UK Midlands, has been renamed Mahle Powertrain after becoming part of one of the automotive industry's larger Tier 1 suppliers.

The Mahle group employs 38,000 worldwide, had 2004 sales of €3.7bn ($4.4bn), and specializes in engine component design, development and manufacture. The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, enables Mahle for the first time to produce complete engine cylinder head modules.

"Cosworth gives us important new powertrain and engine engineering capabilities, creating for us a unique new business proposition in the long run," said Heinz Junker, chairman of Mahle's management board.

The renaming ends confusion surrounding the Cosworth brand after the company, founded as a racing engine maker in the 1950s, was split seven years ago by its previous owner, Vickers.

Audi bought Cosworth Technology, while Cosworth Racing went to Ford. However, Audi did not own the branding rights. These were held by Ford, which, last year sold Cosworth Racing to the Champ Car series.

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