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German 'Green' Push Means Job for Local Firm

April 14, 1999|JAMES FLANIGAN, senior economics editor

Environmental regulation in Germany, pushed by that country's Green Party, has brought a big job to CenTor Software, an entrepreneurial company in Irvine.

Ford Motor Co. has contracted with CenTor to develop a database covering all the materials in every part of a Ford car. Ford needs the information to meet new German regulations stipulating that companies selling cars in that country must provide detailed records of each vehicle's composition so that entire automobiles can be recycled. The regulation was introduced recently by Germany's new ruling coalition, in which the Social Democratic Party shares power with the environmentally focused Greens.

CenTor, a company with 20 employees and about $1.5 million in revenue, developed a software tool two years ago that provides Internet access for technical data. General Electric Co. was an early customer. The value of the Ford contract--the precise amounts are still being negotiated--will run into the millions of dollars. CenTor now is raising financing to handle the expansion.

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