AKRON, OHIO - Top injection molded parts suppliers sparked a trend toward higher levels of systems integration and expanded global reach. This 1995 trend - mainly in the automotive industry - gives suppliers the ability to provide more of the total car interior from a single source.
Purchases, expansions and shutdowns during 1995 will alter several firms' positions in Plastics News' annual sales-based ranking of North American custom injection molders. Below are some of the key transactions made since the injection molders ranking was published April 17.
In July, Lear Seating Corp. of Southfield, Mich., said it would acquire Automotive Industries Inc., a major supplier of auto-motive trim, in a $626 million deal. Lear claims the merger will create the largest integrated interior systems Tier 1 supplier in the world.
Annual sales of the two firms combined exceeded $3.6 billion in 1994.
Earlier that month, Automo-tive Industries of Rochester Hills, Mich., announced the acquisition of interior trim producer Plastifol GmbH & Co. KG of Ebersberg, Germany. The deal is expected to increase Auto-motive Industries' European sales to about 20 percent of its total.
Collins & Aikman Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., said Sept. 26 it will acquire Larizza Industries Inc., the parent firm of Manchester Plastics, for $174 million. Collins & Aikman is a leading carpeting and upholstery supplier. In 1994, Larizza reported profit of $16.4 million on sales of $169.3 million. The deal is expected to be completed in January.
Last year, the automotive products unit of Collins & Aikman accounted for about half the company's total sales of $1.54 billion.
Top-ranked Textron Automo-tive Co. of Troy, Mich., has opened it first manufacturing facility in Mexico. Textron Auto-motive de Mexico will make instrument panels and interior trim for the nearby facilities of Chrysler de Mexico and General Motors Corp. from its new facility in Saltillo. Textron Automo-tive Co., a manufacturer of automotive interior and exterior components, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. of Providence, R.I., with annual sales of more than $1.5 billion.
Textron Automotive also won an $8.5 million annual contract to supply headliners to Ford Motor Co. for the 1997 Mustang and 1998 Villager/Quest. The company's McCord Winn Division was awarded a $6 million annual contract to supply low-pressure lumbar seating mechanisms for the 1996 General Motors C/K model.
Owens-Illinois Inc. of Toledo, Ohio, said that by the end of the year, it will close a North Riverside, Ill., plant that employs 185 and injection molds trigger sprayers for bottles of household, automotive and industrial cleaning products. Management said it cannot operate the plant at a reasonable profit. The North Riverside facility is part of the company's plastics and closures operating segment, which reported 1994 sales of $976 million.
Cleveland-based compounder announced a plan to buy Cimco Inc. of Costa Mesa, Calif., for about $34 million. When the deal is complete, Hanna will own Cimco's profitable compounding unit, and Cimco founder Russell T. Gilbert will buy the custom injection molding unit, which again will be a privately held company. Gilbert took the company public in May 1986.
When the transaction is complete, Cimco's molding business will be at $35 million in annual sales, with 233 employees in Southern California and 59 in Nevada. Cimco operates 25 large-tonnage presses in Nevada and 51 presses in Costa Mesa.
Poly-Seal Corp. of Baltimore, a supplier of plastic injection and compression molded, threaded closures, joined with top international beverage cap and closure maker Zapata International Corp. of Coconut Grove, Fla., to form Tapas Innovativas - Poly-Seal SA de CV.
The joint venture in Mexico will supply local industries including pharmaceutical, personal health-care and household chemicals. Poly-Seal, with sales last year of US$65 million, tied for 55th place in Plastics News' ranking.
Microdyne Plastics Inc. of Ontario, Calif., separated its injection and blow molding operations. This year the injection molding unit, with more than 40 presses and 80 workers, had sales of about $8.4 million.
Echlin Inc. of Branford, Conn., will expand its injection molding capabilities with the purchase of American Electronic Components Inc., an Elkhart, Ind., producer of motor vehicle electronic components such as sensors, switches and relays.
AEC molds its sensor and other housings and similar components in Elkhart and also does some custom molding. AEC has sales of about $40 million, primarily to the original equipment market.
Echlin sales are about $2.7 billion, primarily in aftermarket auto parts, for which it does an undisclosed amount of injection molding.
Echlin agreed to swap its shares for AEC shares in a deal it values at $54.5 million and expects to complete by the end of the year.
In October, Ford Motor Co. announced a plan to retool molding operations at a parts-making plant in Utica, Mich. The project is expected to cost about $60 million.
Things to come: Kerr Group of Los Angeles has retained Lehman Bros. of New York to review ways of maximizing shareholder value, including the sale of all or some of the company.