International Automotive Components Group is partially offsetting a dismal year by picking up business from troubled rivals, according to IAC owner Wilbur Ross.
``I don't pretend we haven't been hurt,'' he said at the North American International Auto Show, held Jan. 11-25 in Detroit. ``We have been hurt.'' Ross acknowledged that IAC won't make money this year.
But the supplier has added ``around $300 million in new business'' during the past six months, by picking up contracts from other, bankrupt suppliers, he said.
James Kamsickas, president of IAC's American and Asian operations, said the business came from bankrupt interiors and plastics molders such as Blue Water Automotive Systems Inc., Progressive Moulded Products Inc. and Cadence Innovation LLC.
Ross described it as ``airlifting the business out.''
Over the Christmas holidays, for example, IAC used more than 35 full semitrailer trucks to take 65 tools and dies from a failed rival and distribute the equipment to IAC factories, which then began making the parts.
Helping automakers make a smooth transition to an IAC plant has been critical to winning the business. ``We've yet to interrupt a production line'' at an automaker's factory, Kamsickas said.
The added revenue ``doesn't come close to offsetting'' the volume lost from the industry's sales drop, he said. Volumes at the supplier's Big Three customers are down 40-60 percent, Kamsickas said.
To help, IAC's top managers took a 4 percent pay cut effective Jan. 1.
In addition, Ross said, last year ``we infused more capital into the company and probably will infuse more capital'' again this year.
International Automotive Components Group North America LLC of Dearborn, Mich., is the No. 1 North American injection molder on Plastics News' 2008 ranking, with related sales of $1.6 billion for calendar 2007.