AL-KO Kober USA and Axis Products recently announced the two Elkhart, Ind.-based companies have merged and will now be known as AL-KO Axis Inc. The news was communicated globally through a live streaming broadcast from a gathering of nearly 400 at downtown Elkhart’s Lerner Theater.
AL-KO Kober is a premier supplier of axles, brakes, chassis and accessories for RV, industrial, cargo and commercial trailers. Axis Products is a diversified specialty axle manufacturer and a supplier of trailer suspension systems and parts servicing 14 different markets across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The broadcast was streamed to all locations for both companies across the U.S. and Germany. Presiding over the event were Roland Kober and Harald Kober, representing the AL-KO Kober executive board from Germany, and Axis Products President/CEO Eric Overbey and Kevin Fort, Axis COO.
“This is an historic day for AL-KO,” stated Roland Kober, announcing the merger and Overbey’s appointment as the new president for AL-KO USA.
Company representatives say the Axis and AL-KO brands will continue to remain independent under the AL-KO Axis Inc. umbrella. This is a priority, they said, so customers can access the strengths and products of both companies through previously established channels and representatives, offering expanded benefits without disruption to business procedure.
Overbey gave an energetic speech outlining the strategic advantages AL-KO Axis Inc. brings to current and prospective customers. He praised the value and stability of AL-KO Kober’s third-generation ownership and said Axis is proud to be part of the AL-KO Kober Group, which celebrated 25 million axles sold and 80 years in business this year.
“This organization is not owned by the New York Stock Exchange, a faceless holding group or investment bankers,” Overbey said. “These men are grandsons of the founder and have delivered on his goal to become the number-one axle supplier in the world.”
He said the union has created a “strong, dynamic, forward-thinking company that will deliver superior customer value,” citing AL-KO Axis Inc.’s advantage through its now seven locations nationwide and the two companies’ significant combined engineering and customer service resources through its nearly 500 employees.
“There is no us and them; we are one company with one mission,” Overbey stated in closing.
Employees at brake and axle manufacturer AL-KO Kober Corp., based in Elkhart, Ind., recently marked the company’s 80th anniversary with a family picnic at Shanklin Park in Goshen. According to a press release, a DJ supplied music while attendees enjoyed lunch, treats, snow cones, kids’ games, a cornhole tournament, giveaways and a door prize raffle.
“We have plenty of reasons to celebrate. There’s a lot of optimism about our future here,” said John Ries, vice president of operations at AL-KO, a leading supplier for the RV, cargo and industrial trailer industries. “We made it through the recession and are still going strong, and we’ve even hired more people this year. Our latest new products and programs are already being well received. We have the continued support and confidence of the Kober family. So we’re counting our many blessings and enjoying our time together.”
About 250 employees and their families attended the picnic. Remarks and announcements were given by Ries as well as Suzanne Griffin, director of human resources, and Markus Spengler, vice president from AL-KO’s global headquarters in Germany.
“It’s important to us to show our Elkhart employees how much we appreciate them. We wouldn’t be so successful without their good work and dedication; they’re committed to us and we’re committed to them, because we’re all a part of the Kober family,” said Spengler. “The AL-KO ‘Quality for Life’ slogan doesn’t just apply to our products. It’s for our people and their families too.”
In addition to its U.S. headquarters in Elkhart, AL-KO Kober maintains three axle plants in Shawnee, Okla., LaGrange, Ore., and Tifton, Ga., all of which are also celebrating the company’s anniversary with employee appreciation family picnics.
“In the face of unsure economic times, especially in Elkhart County where the RV industry has been through the wringer over the last few years, it feels good to have a dependable company to work for,” Ries said. “To have this kind of stability and growth to lean on every day when we come to work is a relief and a blessing. It was good to come out with the families so all our spouses and kids could feel that, too.”
For more information on AL-KO, visit www.AL-KOusa.com or call 574-294-6651.
AL-KO Kober Corp., manufacturer of axles, brakes and trailer-related products, recently announced the appointment of Rick Boday as its new vice president of procurement and supply at the company’s U.S. corporate headquarters in Elkhart, Ind.
“Material cost is by far the largest percentage of our selling price and it’s important to manage substantial ongoing improvement in this area,” said Tim Kuppler, AL-KO president, in a news release. “Rick will clearly contribute to our efforts to continually improve quality and reduce material cost while heavily supporting the roll-out of numerous new products.”
Boday’s background includes post-graduate studies in quality assurance and technology management as well as progressive management positions in operations, quality, commercial program management and purchasing areas. He brings over 20 years of experience to the company.
“Rick’s solid cross-functional experience will add to the strength of our leadership team and help us reach our business goals for the immediate and long-term future,” Kuppler said. “He’s very organized and proactive with a proven track record of building successful teams, and his honest, team-focused management style is a very good fit with our corporate culture here at AL-KO.”
AL-KO Kober Corp. is a full-line supplier of American-made axles, brakes, hubs, drums, slides, trays and other products to the trailer industry. With 40 companies and 4,000 employees worldwide, its domestic operations include four plants and numerous distributor partners across North America. For more information about AL-KO, call (574) 294-6651 or visit www.AL-KOUSA.com.
AL-KO Kober Corp. has announced the opening off its West Coast facility.
The new production facility is located just outside of La Grande , Ore., at 64423 Airport Road. Work on the facility began in the summer of 2009, with full light-trailer axle production recently implemented, according to a press release.
The new facility allows AL-KO to provide 15 new manufacturing jobs to the local community and continue operations from the recently discontinued California location. The change keeps AL-KO close to many West Coast accounts, with standard freight runs to the remainder, ensuring the high quality of service and responsiveness expected by customers. The new location continues AL-KO’s drive to provide service to its customers throughout the United States.
“AL-KO is proud that some experienced employees transferred to the Oregon plant, and that 15 new manufacturing jobs were created in the local community while supporting established and new business in the West,” the company stated.
AL-KO Kober Corp. is a full-line supplier of American-made axles, brakes, hubs and drums to the light trailer industry. The AL-KO Kober Group was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in Germany. In 1984 AL-KO established operations in the United States in Elkhart, Ind. AL-KO now has 40 companies throughout Europe, the United States, Australia and Asia. Together, AL-KO employs 4,000 people worldwide