TriMas Corp., parent to Cequent Performance Products, reported record sales for its first quarter, ended March 31.
The company posted revenue of $297.6 million, an increase of 15.1% compared to first quarter 2011. Net income during the three-month period was $12.25 million compared to $11.75 in the year prior.
“2012 is off to a solid start as we build upon the positive momentum of the past year,” said David Wathen, president and CEO for Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Trimas. “We achieved sales growth of 15.1% during the first quarter, resulting from successful execution of our strategic growth initiatives including bolt-on acquisitions, product innovation, market share gains and geographic expansion. While demand levels started the quarter slowly across several businesses, we saw significantly improved order and shipment levels late in the quarter.”
Net sales for Cequent North America decreased 1.5% compared to the year ago period, resulting primarily from a sales decrease within the Trimas retail channel due to a one-time stocking order for a significant customer in the first quarter of 2011 that did not recur in 2012. First quarter operating profit decreased compared to first quarter 2011 due to lower sales levels, costs incurred to relocate certain production to lower cost countries and increased selling, general and administrative costs, primarily in support of growth initiatives. Trimas said it continues to reduce fixed costs, minimize its investment in working capital, and leverage Cequent’s strong brand positions and new products for increased market share.
To view the entire report click here.
The soon-to-be-released Draw-Tite Class 5 Ultra Frame hitches have some “distinctive attributes,” according to a press release.
“Our new Ultra Frame is a change from regular receiver hitches,” states John Walsh, vice president of sales for Plymouth, Mich.-based Cequent Performance Products. “Hitches have largely been tube construction. In our Ultra Frame line-up, which is heavy-duty trailer hitches, we’ve moved to a cast center section. It has strength and aesthetic characteristics, as well as a larger chain hook-up for easy access. It’s a next-generation hitch.”
Draw-Tite’s new Ultra Frame hitch, with the cast center section, has a higher towing capacity and tongue weight rating than standard hitches. For example, new Ultra Frame hitches for the Ford F-350, 450, and 550 (Cab & Chassis) are rated for 16,000 pounds of towing, and 2,400 pounds of weight carrying tongue weight.
“When we develop new products, we want a trailer hitch to interact very cleanly with the electrical harness, coupler, jack and other products we’ve designed. So we go to great lengths to meet, and sometimes develop, the highest criteria of testing standards,” said Walsh. “We also work with our dealers to connect us with professionals to test and critique our products before we commercialize them. At the end of the day, this approach helps us understand what our products are being used for and how to make sure the consumer will be happy.”
During its 50th Anniversary Conference in San Diego last week, NTP Distribution Inc., a leading national distributor of RV and recreation-related products, honored Cequent Performance Products with the “2011 Vendor of the Year” award, as well as “Best Booth” featuring its Reese, Tekonsha and Bulldog brands. Pictured are Tom Benson, president of Cequent Performance, accepting the “Vendor of the Year” award from NTP President Greg Boyd. To win the best booth honor, Cequent’s staff took full advantage of NTP’s 50th anniversary by creating a rock-and-roll theme and dressing as the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” from the classic Beatles album. “While we have fun at these events, we take the relationship we have with NTP and all our customers very seriously,” said Benson. “It’s an honor to be recognized with this award and a privilege to participate in NTP’s success.” Plymouth, Mich.-based Cequent supplies NTP with a several prominent towing brands, including Reese, Tekonsha, Bulldog, Bargman, ROLA, Tow Ready and Draw-Tite.
Cequent Consumer Products, a leading automotive and RV aftermarket supplier, announced today (March 2) that it has acquired Laitner Brush Co.
According to a press release, the move will open new markets for the Plymouth, Mich.-based company, a division of TriMas Corp. Cequent’s RV towing products include name brands such as Draw-Tite, Reese, Fulton, Wesbar, Bulldog, Highland, Hidden Hitch, Bargman, ROLA and Tekonsha.
“The purchase of Laitner Brush will broaden our product offering and allow us to expand our channels served,” said John Aleva, president of Cequent Consumer Products. “Laitner’s business model is a natural fit within our organization and we welcome Laitner’s employees to our Cequent Consumer Products’ family.”
Laitner Brush Co., headquartered in Traverse City, Mich., is a niche designer, manufacturer and supplier of cleaning products for the home/hardware, automotive aftermarket and household products markets. Laitner Brush has been making brushes since 1855.
Cequent Performance Products, Plymouth, Mich., has introduced two new car-top carriers in its ROLA line, which the company brought to North America from Australia in 2007.
“We recently launched two new low profile car top carriers in the Airfoil collection,” said Gail Matheus, general manager, North America automotive products. “These U.S.-made cargo boxes are very aerodynamic, stylish, durable, quiet and lightweight. Buyers are choosing ROLA products for their exceptional quality. The Airfoil SK box was designed for skis, snowboards and similar sporting goods. The Airfoil LG box was designed for luggage and other related cargo.”
• ROLA airfoils sit low on a vehicle’s roof, making it easier to get in and out of parking garages and residential garage door openings.
• Both airfoils are considered “aero-neutral” because there is no lift or down-force created while driving.
• Stylish, streamlined design.
• Ultraviolet protection to help resist fading from the sun.
• Exclusive multi-directional stiffening ribs that reduce the tension, torsion and twist sometimes created by strong winds, or aggressive loading and unloading.
• The airfoil is lightweight and easy to load, as the stiffening ribs and vortex generators are made from advanced polymers and are molded right into all ROLA Airfoil designs.
Cequent Electrical Products intends to lay off 42 employees — mostly production workers — at its Tekonsha, Mich., facility, according to a report by the Battle Creek Enquirer. The layoffs will be completed by July, the company said.
The facility will remain in operation, but the cuts will reduce its staff level by about one-third, leaving 88 employees at Tekonsha while the company moves a portion of its manufacturing business to Mexico, a company spokesman said.
“Tekonsha is going to remain the center for all electrical product development” for the company, said Cequent’s spokesman, Al Upchurch of the Farmington Hills-based public-relations firm Marx Layne & Co. “The company will continue to invest in that key area of their business.”
Cequent manufactures automotive brake controls as well as lighting equipment for recreational vehicles and trailers, Upchurch said. One of its electronic brake-control brands for trailers carries the Tekonsha name.
Upchurch said the company intends to move manufacture of original-equipment and aftermarket brake controls to a facility based in the city of Reynosa, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Production of the company’s Bargman brand lighting products also is being moved to Reynosa, he said. Aftermarket products are sold to auto-supply stores for use in repairs.
The transfer of production to Mexico “allows Cequent to remain competitive and ensures that a large piece of its automotive business will remain with the company through 2019,” Upchurch said.
Upchurch said the layoffs would occur in two phases, the first to be completed by the end of March 2012 and the second by the end of July.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reported that Tekonsha Village President Corey Wood said he and other village officials have been in touch with representatives of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which works with communities to foster new business.
“My hopes are that we can get a little closer relationship with the MEDC and see what they can do for us,” Wood said. “We’ve got a beautiful industrial park, and Tekonsha is in a great location for picking up business, especially with the closeness of the highway and state roads.” The village of about 700 residents lies southeast of the intersection of Interstate 69 and M-60.
The local facility opened in 1963 under the name Tekonsha Engineering and was bought in 2002 by Cequent, a division of Bloomfield Hills-based TriMas Corp. The company also cut its Tekonsha staffing by about 50 employees in the spring of 2009.
TriMas has approximately 4,000 employees at more than 60 different facilities in 11 countries, according to its website.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TriMas Corp., a diversified manufacturer of engineered and applied products and parent to RV supplier Cequent Performance Products, announced that it has received an additional $15 million commitment from Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. under its existing senior secured revolving credit facility.
This increases the company’s total revolving credit capacity under the facility to $125 million.
“The increase in our revolving facility commitments is another important step in the growth of our company and demonstrates the confidence Wells Fargo has in TriMas,” said TriMas CFO Mark Zeffiro. “The increased capacity enhances our available liquidity and will allow us to continue to pursue our long-term growth objectives and strategies, including bolt-on acquisitions and entry into new global markets.”
Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced that two industry-leading companies, Cequent Performance Products, which designs and manufactures towing and hitch systems and related accessories, and Cooper Standard, which specializes in fluid handling systems and anti-vibration systems for the automotive industry, will join the No. 29 RAM team as major sponsors for the entire 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.
According to a news release, the marketing and business alliances will see Cequent and Cooper as the primary sponsors for the 2012 season, each taking one-half of the 2012 races. Both companies will also receive partnership assets, entitlements, and benefits throughout the season, including exposure via Keselowski personally in both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series competition for Penske Racing. Parker Kligerman, a Penske Racing development driver, will return for his second full-season with the BKR team to pilot the No. 29 Cequent/Cooper Standard entry.
Plymouth, Mich.-based Cequent said the sponsorship of Keselowski and BKR, which also includes primary sponsorship for 15 Truck Series races in 2013 and 18 Truck Series races in 2014, is designed to “drive exposure for its brands such as Draw-Tite and Reese Towpower, strengthen relationships with retail partners, and generate new business opportunities.”
“We see Brad Keselowski, and his team, as terrific marketing fits for our company, its brands and products,” stated Tom Benson, President of Cequent Performance Products. “The NASCAR Truck Series audience is undoubtedly our target market and Brad extends Cequent’s reach to the NASCAR Cup and Nationwide audiences. This program also presents some meaningful business opportunities for both our Performance Products and Consumer Products divisions. The partnership has all the elements to be a complete success for Cequent and for Brad’s team. We very much look forward to seeing the No. 29 Truck take the track in 2012.”
TriMas Corp. today (Oct. 27) announced record sales for its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, and a 42% increase in net income.
The Bloomfield, Mich.-based company, parent to RV supplier Cequent Performance Products, posted sales of $277.7 million, an increase of 16.8% compared to third quarter 2010. Net income for the period was $17.0 million, a 42% improvement from $12.0 million the year prior, while diluted earnings per share from were 49 cents as compared to 35 cents.
During the third quarter of 2011, the company reported diluted earnings per share of 3 cents related to its precision cutting tool and specialty fitting lines of businesses now classified as discontinued operations and assets held for sale. Third quarter 2011 net income per diluted share was 52 cents, an increase of 40.5% as compared to 37 cents in third quarter 2010.
• Trimas reported sales growth in all six segments compared to third quarter 2010.
• Amended its accounts receivable facility with improved pricing and terms, which, in conjunction with the recent refinance of the company’s U.S. credit facilities, will continue to reduce interest costs, extend maturities and improve financial and operating flexibility.
• Completed the acquisition of Innovative Molding, a technology leader in the design, lining and manufacturing of specialty plastic closures for bottles and jars for the food and nutrition industries.
• Completed two small, bolt-on acquisitions to extend the company’s sales and manufacturing footprint into India and South Africa.
“We achieved our sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales and earnings growth, delivered by our continued attention to new product innovation, market share gains, geographic expansion and successful bolt-on acquisitions,” said David Wathen, TriMas president and CEO. “We remain focused on our productivity and lean initiatives, and we will use these savings to fund growth, offset inflation and expand margins. As a result of our 16.8% sales growth and productivity initiatives, we also achieved record third quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.49, an increase of approximately 40% as compared to third quarter 2010.
“We remain positive about TriMas’ ability to outperform the economy, create sustainable operating leverage and generate strong cash flow. Our diverse product portfolio and end markets serve us well, especially during times of economic uncertainty. While we experienced some softness in packaging, which we quickly responded to, we experienced continued strength in our energy and aerospace-related markets. With the uncertain economic environment, we are not assuming any economic tailwinds as we model 2012. We believe we will have to earn every bit of growth and earnings improvement achieved. We are well-positioned to execute on our strategic imperatives throughout the remainder of 2011 and achieve double-digit EPS growth in 2012.”
To view the full report click here.
Plymouth, Mich.-based Cequent Performance Products’ Reese brand will launch their newest fifth-wheel hitch in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a press release.
In anticipation of the launch, the company has scheduled two free online seminars to help demonstrate the unique features of this all new product.
“The seminar will focus on the features of the new fifth-wheel line as well as the strategic direction of the fifth-wheel category,” states Paul Caruso, vice president/general manager of Towing Products and New Business Development. “There will be two separate seminars available, one targeted to wholesale distributors, the other to dealers/installers of the Reese fifth-wheel line. Separating these groups into different presentations will allow us to communicate a more direct launch plan and provide resources fixated on their core needs and requirements.”
Online seminars will be held Oct. 25-26. Online registration is required for the event; no registrations via phone will be accepted. There is no fee to attend. This seminar requires Internet access (visual portion) and VOIP or phone connection (audio portion).
If you are a wholesale distributor, to register click here. Seminar date and time: Oct. 25 at 3 p.m.
If you are a dealer/installer, to register click here. Seminar date and time: Oct. 26 at 3 p.m.