Injection molder ADAC Plastics Inc. has aggressive designs on new business from Japanese transplant automakers as a result of its recent acquisition of Dura Automotive Systems Inc.'s door handles and trim division.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based ADAC said it also just secured $50 million in new mirror business from General Motors Corp. and plans this year to open a molding plant in England, its first outside Michigan.
The Dura deal, completed Dec. 31 for an undisclosed price, gives ADAC about 250,000 square feet of leased space within a huge, 104-year-old facility in Kentwood, Mich., that has changed hands several times since the early 1980s.
Dura, which acquired the Kentwood plant as part of its April 1998 purchase of Trident Automotive plc, still owns lighting, fasteners, service and painting operations within that 1 million-square-foot facility.
Richard Burns, vice president of operations for the newly named ADAC-Kentwood, said the purchase brings ADAC 10 injection presses with clamping forces of 300-1,000 tons, about 175 employees and $22 million to $24 million in additional sales — nearly 90 percent of which is to Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp.
``This gives us the avenue to work with the transplants and better understand their culture,'' he said. ADAC's plan is to expand significantly its business with such firms.
The Kentwood plant injection molds some trim products, but mostly makes door handles and components, a product segment that will account for about 45 percent of the newly expanded ADAC's projected 1999 sales of $114 million, said Jim Teets, vice president and managing director of the door components division.
Sales for the privately held, 24-year-old ADAC have grown sharply in recent years. Sales rose to $86 million last year from $25 million in 1993, and booked business points to nearly $140 million in 2000, Teets said. ADAC expects Ford Motor Co. to account for 49 percent of sales this year, General Motors 21 percent, Chrysler Corp. 13.5 percent, and Honda and Toyota combined, 7.5 percent.
The GM share is rising, in part due to the mirror contracts, announced Jan. 27. ADAC will supply one exterior mirror for the Oldsmobile Alero and another mirror for both the Oldmobile Cutlass and the Chevrolet Malibu. The new jobs will generate sales in excess of $50 million over the life of the contracts, which Teets said will run from 4 to 41/2 years.
ADAC also plans within the next several months to start up injection molding, painting and assembly operations in Birmingham, England.
The existing ADAC Ltd. operations there employ eight and offer sales and marketing, with modest design and engineering support. But staffing will rise to 50 this spring, Teets said, as the U.K. company prepares to begin production in a leased, 50,000-square-foot facility near its current offices.
Teets declined to offer further details about the U.K. plans, but did note that ADAC also is investigating its options in Mexico, as a possible springboard into the Latin American market.
Including Kentwood, ADAC Plastics now employs close to 1,000 and runs 59 injection presses in five molding plants.