DETROIT - With the acquisition of GenCorp Inc.'s automotive sheet molding compound business, Cambridge Industries Inc. has vaulted to the dominant position in the market, while adding new depth to its research and development efforts. ``We really must become the technology leader, and GenCorp brings us that core competency to build on,'' said Cambridge Chairman Richard Crawford.
Cambridge, based in Madison Heights, Mich., announced March 6 that it completed the acquisition of GenCorp's Reinforced Plastics Division for undisclosed terms.
For Cambridge, which has grown rapidly in recent years by acquiring plastics businesses, the GenCorp deal adds molding plants in Shelbyville and Rushville, Ind.; Ionia, Mich.; and an SMC production operation in Marion, Ind. More than 1,000 GenCorp employees also will join Cambridge.
Crawford said he will merge the engineering staff of the GenCorp SMC operation with Cambridge's Technical Group.
GenCorp, based in Fairlawn, Ohio, has been in the SMC business more than 40 years and has introduced a number of innovations, including in-mold coating for exterior body panels.
The GenCorp acquisition adds about $100 million in sales to Cambridge, boosting its SMC business to about $250 million. The deal follows Cambridge's 1994 acquisition of Rockwell International Corp.'s automotive plastics division, another SMC processor.
Before the GenCorp deal, Cambridge and Budd Co.'s plastic division were just about neck-and-neck as the leading automotive SMC companies, at $150 million in sales. A Budd spokesman confirmed the numbers.
Cambridge, which produces a variety of auto parts with a number of different plastic processes, is expecting total 1996 sales of about $400 million. With the GenCorp acquisition, Cambridge employs 4,000 and has 15 plants in the United States and Canada.