EXCEL EXPANDS IN RIM, CLOSES A METAL FACILITY

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ELKHART, IND. — Automotive and recreational vehicle parts supplier Excel Industries Inc. plans to introduce reaction injection molding later this year to a plant in Mexico that makes metal door frames and seat tracks for the automotive industry.

The Elkhart firm also plans to close its underused Eddy Avenue metal fabricating plant in Rockford, Ill., by July 31.

Excel uses the 45-year-old metals plant to fabricate automotive hardware and components for manual seat track systems, which it then ships to other Excel plants for assembly.

Excel acquired the plant with 12 others when it purchased Anderson Industries Inc. of Rockford in March 1996. Anderson is a holding company for Atwood Industries Inc., a supplier that injection molds plastic parts at plants in Jonesville, Mich., and Henry, Tenn. Those parts include fan covers, trim and taillight assemblies.

In Mexico, Excel said it will expand its 60,000-square-foot plant in Queretaro by another 40,000 square feet. The facility will use RIM to assemble window encapsulation systems from metal and glass for Mexico-based carmakers.

In 1996, Excel recorded $887 million in sales compared with $596 million the year before, primarily due to the Anderson purchase. Profit reached $19 million, compared with $16 million in 1995.