DETROIT (AP) _ MascoTech Controls Inc., Bitron Inc. and Saturn Electronics & Engineering Inc. have agreed to a merger that will create one of the nation's largest minority-owned auto parts suppliers, the companies said Tuesday.

The merger is expected to be completed early next year. Terms were not announced.

The new company will retain the name Saturn Electronics & Engineering. Saturn President Wallace Tsuha will be chairman and chief executive officer.

Saturn will hold a majority stake in the new enterprise, which will have eight plants and 800 employees in the United States, China, Italy and Mexico. The company will be based in Rochester Hills, Mich.

Its products will include electronic parts and switches, fuel vapor recovery systems and injection molded plastic components.

MascoTech Controls is a division of Taylor, Mich.-based MascoTech Inc. Bitron makes automotive relays. Saturn was founded in 1985 by Tsuha, whose grandparents hailed from Korea and Japan.