Core Molding Technologies Inc. is shifting into the growing automotive aftermarket industry with the purchase of composites molder Keystone Restyling Products Inc.
Columbus, Ohio-based Core has had a few aftermarket products in its lineup, and wants to increase that exposure, James Simonton, president and chief executive officer, said in a Sept. 29 telephone interview.
Toledo, Ohio-based Keystone has strong molding capabilities and a $3 million business line.
``They've got a nice product offering,'' Simonton said. ``We think that because of all the niche vehicle marketing areas that the market seems to be getting into, there are going to be opportunities.''
The companies did not disclose the purchase price immediately.
Aftermarket vehicle styling, first popularized by young California car buyers, has been receiving increased attention from the traditional auto industry, drawn in part by an annual sales growth nearing 10 percent.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association in Diamond Bar, Calif., estimates the aftermarket auto business has climbed from $4.3 billion in sales in 1990 to $28.9 billion in 2003.
Automakers regularly visit SEMA's annual show in Las Vegas to check out the offerings, and traditional suppliers including Decoma International Inc. and Johnson Controls Inc. have displays there. The Society of Plastics Engineers automotive division this year added an aftermarket competition for its annual awards.
More than half of the aftermarket industry's sales go into appearance parts like those made by Keystone.
The Toledo company molds replacement composite hoods for pickup trucks boasting special air scoops. It makes lightweight fenders to spruce up compact cars and spoilers to provide a sporty look to a variety of vehicles.
Core specializes in compression molding of composites along with spray-up and hand lay-up production of fiberglass and production of long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics. About two-thirds of its $92.7 million in annual sales goes to the commercial truck industry. It also makes components for personal watercraft and auto interiors.
Simonton said the acquisition helps Core toward its goal of diversifying.