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    High Voltage Contract Signed with Toyota in France

    Schneider has won a contract to supply a 225 kV high voltage substation for the new Toyota plant near Valenciennes in northern France. The contract includes two 35 MVA transformers, high voltage circuit breakers and equipment accessories.

    «The new plant will assemble the Yaris, the equivalent of Renault’s Twingo model,» says Thierry Copie of Schneider’s French Division Marketing. «Toyota announced the project last fall, but we’ve known about it for more than a year. The plant will start production in January 2001 and will employ around 2,000 people. The goal is to eventually produce 150,000 vehicles a year.»

    Schneider Electric was selected because its bid was competitive, but also because it agreed to meet extremely tight delivery schedules. «We also had a good reputation with the customer for equipment supplied in Brazil, Australia, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom,» notes Copie.

    Schneider Electric leveraged the skills of its international network to obtain the contract, making initial contacts with Toyota through its subsidiary in Japan. Toyota selected Bovis, a UK-based general contractor, to oversee building construction, and Bovis in turn called in a US engineering firm. Thanks to excellent coordination among Schneider teams in North America, Japan, the UK and France, Schneider Electric was able to put together the winning bid.