Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
For other things named TRW, see TRW (disambiguation).
TRW Incorporated was an American corporation involved in a number of businesses, mostly defense-related, but including automotive supply and credit reporting. On December 12, 2002, Northrop Grumman acquired the defense business, and TRW Automotive , formerly LucasVarity, became a separate company, soon afterwards acquired by The Blackstone Group. Goodrich Corporation acquired TRW's Lucas Aerospace group. The credit report business, which was spun off in 1996, is now called Experian.
The remotest origin of the company was in the Cleveland Cap Screw Company founded in 1901, which eventually became Thompson Products . The 1958 merger of Thompson with the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation was named Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc., then shortened to TRW Inc. in 1965.
TRW was active in the early development of missile systems and spacecraft. They also pioneered systems engineering.
TRW was one of the first companies to build air bags in the 1980s, but problems with the bags forced a recall by Ford Motor in 1990 and 1991. It also ran into asbestos problems, having used the material in the 1970s as brake liners.
The 1999 acquisition of the British aerospace and automotive parts maker LucasVarity doubled the size of TRW's automotive business, but saddled it with so much debt that it had to start selling businesses. The board brought in David Cote as CEO in 2001 to try to turn the business around, but he left in less than a year, with the result that Northrop Grumman was able to conduct a hostile takeover of the defense company. The TRW name survives with the automotive operation.
- Davis Dyer , TRW: Pioneering Technology and Innovations since 1900 (Winthrop Library , 1998)
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