Guardian Industries Corp. has spun off its automotive trim operations as the wholly owned subsidiary SRG Global Inc., and is positioning the new business as one of the largest suppliers of chrome-plated plastic parts for the international auto industry.
SRG Global takes in Guardian's injection molding business and combines it with Siegel-Robert Inc.'s auto business, which Guardian acquired in 2008.
The new firm will combine the financial stability of privately owned Guardian with a focus on plastic trim, SRG President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Baird said March 3 by phone.
We are a global trim company that's going to be able to leverage the strengths of Guardian Industries, he said.
SRG, based in Warren, Mich., operates six injection molding sites, along with paint and decorating lines, in North America. It also has molding and decorating capabilities at Guardian's European trim facilities, previously known as Lab Radio, centered in Spain; molding in Suzhou, China; and sales offices in Japan and China.
The new company employs 4,000 globally 3,100 in North America.
Guardian, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., is a $6 billion private company more known for its glass production for the auto and architecture industries. SRG Global will focus on automotive plastics, making front- and rear-end systems, body side moldings and some interior parts.
The firm is having its coming out party just as the global industry is in the middle of a massive sales recession, and Baird noted that SRG must plan its expansions carefully.
Obviously we are in an economic malaise here, and the automotive industry is in the middle of that, and the U.S. industry is in the middle of all that, he said. But there were still 60 million vehicles built in the world last year.
Still, the firm is looking at expansions into Mexico and Central Europe through acquisitions or by building new plants, but it will be very careful before making any commitments, though, according to Baird.
For the next couple of months, we are going to be looking at growth areas, but also making sure that we are appropriately sized for the current [market] situations, Baird said. The challenge right now is recognizing where the business is today, where we think it will be at year-end, where we think it will be in 2010 and that impacts our plans in terms of the size of our organization.
He said that SRG's ability to paint and chrome-plate plastics for use in grilles to decorative badges, door handles and body side moldings means it also has fewer competitors.
The industry will recover eventually, Baird said, and Guardian's good customer relations will help SRG be among the suppliers that survive.
It is going to go up and the process in between will be one of consolidation and restructuring and belt tightening, he said.