Plymouth, Mich.-based Cequent Performance Products reports that its Summer Hitch Program has been “so well received” that the program, which was originally scheduled to end at the end of August, will be extended until Sept. 30.
According to a press release, Draw-Tite, Reese and Hidden Hitch will have given over $48,000 in cash to winners along with hundreds of free umbrellas and gas to hitch buyers for simply registering their purchase.
Paul Caruso, Cequent vice president/general manager, noted: “The act of registering their warranty information online automatically qualifies the consumer for selected premiums and a chance to win at least $100. Twenty winners are selected each month, and the odds are determined by the number of customers that register. Cequent also offers two $1,000 awards each month, selected from the pool of installers and dealers whose retail customers participate.”
“We have several objectives for the receiver hitch summer series,” said Tom Benson, Cequent president. “The first and foremost is to draw attention to the special attributes of each brand to help our installers and dealers communicate the elements that make them number one in their respective markets.
“We believe that our leadership is best demonstrated by offering superior products and the tools our dealers need to ensure success with our brands. But in the end it almost always comes down to people. These promotions focus on the people who make our business run.”
Come meet some of the winners and read why they love their hitches at www.Draw-Tite.com, www.ReeseProd.com or www.HiddenHitch.com. New entries, pictures and stories are coming in daily and shown across all three brand websites.
Cequent Performance Products, makers of such name brands as Reese, Draw-Tite, Bulldog, Fulton, ROLA and Tekonsha, has relocated its headquarters into a larger facility in Plymouth, Mich. According to a press release, the move was completed on March 14.
The company said that the new building boosts Cequent’s product testing laboratory by nearly doubling the overall square footage and doubling the amount of bay doors. Cequent acquired one-third of the entire building and has an option for future expansion. To make room for new employees, the office space was increased from 25,000 to 31,000 square feet.
New state-of-the-art technology, such as a noise reduction system, faster Internet and video conferencing is being incorporated into the new facility. Cequent said that all of the lighting in the building was upgraded following a program that the local power company offers for energy efficiency. Besides shrinking Cequent’s carbon footprint, this will also reduce their electric bill by at least 30%.
Keeping an emphasis on saving resources, the new facility has an on-site recycling program for metal, glass, plastic, paper and corrugated board. Cequent has also contracted an outside company for the recycling of batteries and light bulbs.
Cequent Performance Products has announced several personnel promotions. According to a news release:
- Since January 2010, Tom Aepelbacher has supported both Cequent Performance Products as the vice president of operations and TriMas Corp. as the vice president of global sourcing. Over the past year, the Global Sourcing Organization, under his leadership, has proven to be an integral part of TriMas’ overall success. With continued focus on global growth initiatives and on-going productivity, Dave Wathen, president and CEO of TriMas, has announced that Aepelbacher will focus his efforts on global sourcing, as well as the development of a TriMas Continuous Improvement Program. In this role, he will continue to utilize his 25 years of experience in manufacturing and sourcing to continue working with the business unit leaders to gain penetration into emerging markets, leverage buying power, use strategic sourcing initiatives to increase productivity by lowering spend and lead the development of continuous improvement initiatives corporate wide. He will report directly to Dave Wathen and will be relocating to the TriMas corporate office in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
- Mike Finos has been promoted to chief operating officer for Cequent Performance Products. In this role, Finos will be assuming the responsibilities of North American manufacturing, global sourcing, quality and continuous improvement. He will also maintain his responsibility for logistics, inventory management and information technology. Finos has worked for CPP for the past seven-plus years with progressively increasing responsibility. He transitioned to vice president of logistics in 2003 from Hidden Hitch and over the past several years has taken on responsibility for inventory management and information technology. Prior to joining CPP, he was the vice president of logistics with Hidden Hitch, prior to it being acquired by TriMas. Tom Benson, president of CPP, made this announcement, “Mike has a strong history of commitment to excellence during his tenure here at Cequent, and during his years at Hidden Hitch. His dedication to our customer base and his passion for this business are exceptional. In addition, each of the changes we are announcing today will strengthen our business and improve our ability to provide customers with superior service,” he said.
- Steve Helser has been promoted to director, North American manufacturing. Helser will now be responsible for the operations of the Mexican production facilities in Juarez and Reynosa in addition to continuing his responsibilities for the Goshen, Ind., and the Tekonsha, Mich., production facilities. Helser joined Cequent in 2004 as the plant manager of the Goshen Facility and was promoted to director of manufacturing for Goshen and Tekonsha in 2009.
- Justin Schuhardt has been promoted to director, global logistics. He will carry on his customer and tech service responsibilities. In addition, he will be responsible for logistics, purchasing and distribution. Schuhardt joined Cequent in 2004 as finished goods inventory manager in South Bend, Ind. In late 2005, he was promoted to DC Manager – Oakville, Canada. In late 2009, he was promoted to director of customer service.
- Bruce Gielinski has been promoted to director of quality and continuous improvement. In addition he will now be responsible for quality across all of CPP. Gielinski has been with Cequent for over 33 years, starting at the original facility in Belleville, Mich.m in 1977. He has held several positions including expeditor, general foreman, plant manager, product consolidation manager, engineering manager and most recently director of continuous improvement.
TriMas Corp. announced Tuesday (Dec. 29) that it entered into a new accounts receivable facility with Wachovia Bank NA. The new facility, which has a three-year term, provides committed funding of up to $75 million.
The new accounts receivable facility provides a source of liquidity for the company at a cost of funds equal to the three-month LIBOR (currently approximately 0.25%) plus a spread ranging from 2.75% to 3.50% (currently 3.25%) on amounts drawn under the facility. This facility replaces the company’s existing $55 million 364-day accounts receivables securitization facility.
“This new agreement reflects our continued efforts to ensure that TriMas has adequate liquidity, and together with the company’s recently amended bank credit facility and senior secured notes offering, will improve our financial flexibility,” said Mark Zeffiro, TriMas CFO. “In addition to increasing the level of committed funding from $55 million to $75 million, we will benefit from improved pricing (currently 125 basis points lower than the existing facility) and the reduction of refinancing risk resulting from a three-year commitment. The recent actions taken to improve our capital structure will allow us to support our planned productivity and growth initiatives and accelerate the positive changes taking place within our organization.”
TriMas is the parent company of Cequent Performance Products.
TriMas Corp. announced Wednesday (Dec. 16) that it has executed an amendment and restatement of its credit agreement with certain of its lenders to extend the maturity of $220.1 million of its $252.2 million in term loans from Aug. 2, 2013, to Dec. 15, 2015.
The credit agreement has also been amended for certain items, including modified financial covenant levels to improve financial flexibility and the ability to refinance existing subordinated notes with senior secured notes, according to a news release from the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based company.
Over 88% of the company’s existing lenders agreed to the amendment. TriMas’ borrowing costs on the extended term loans will be at LIBOR plus 4.00%, with a “LIBOR floor” of 2%. The maturity date and interest margins with respect to those term loans held by lenders that did not consent to extend the maturity of their term loans will remain unchanged.
In addition, pursuant to the amendment, certain revolving credit lenders have agreed to extend the maturity of $70 million (on an as reduced basis) out of $90 million in revolving credit commitments from Aug. 2, 2011, to Dec. 15, 2013. After giving effect to reductions in revolving commitments of certain extending revolving lenders, the company has $78 million of total revolving credit commitments. The company’s borrowing costs with respect to revolving credit loans made pursuant to such extended revolving credit commitments will be at LIBOR plus 4%, without an applicable “LIBOR floor.”
The commitment fee payable with respect to the undrawn extended revolving credit commitments will be increased to 0.75%. The maturity date and interest margins with respect to those revolving credit commitments held by lenders that did not consent to extend will remain unchanged.
“We view this refinancing as very positive for TriMas, allowing us to continue on our path of continuous improvement,” said David Wathen, TriMas president and CEO. “We have demonstrated improved operating performance via cost reduction activities and increased cash generation, allowing us to reduce debt by over $100 million through the first three quarters of 2009. We will continue this focus going forward and are pleased that we received such support from our existing lenders.”
TriMas is the parent company of Cequent Performance Products.
TriMas Corp. announced Monday (Dec. 14) its intent to offer to qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A and to persons outside the United States under Regulation S $250 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due 2017, according to a news release.
The proceeds of the proposed offering, together with cash on hand, will be used by TriMas to purchase, redeem or otherwise retire all of its outstanding 9 7/8% senior subordinated notes due 2012. The offering is subject to market and other customary conditions.
TriMas is the parent company of Cequent Performance Products.
TriMas Corp. has announced that it has initiated a process to amend and extend its credit facilities. If approved, the proposed amendment would extend the maturity of the company’s revolving credit facility from August 2011 to December 2013 and its $252 million term loan from June 2013 to December 2015, according to a news release.
The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based parent company of Cequent Performance Products expects to pay an increased interest rate consistent with market conditions to those lenders that agree to extend the maturity of their term loans or revolving credit commitments.
“The financial markets have presented TriMas with the opportunity to consider refinancing our bank debt with terms that we believe are very good for TriMas’ capital structure and the future of the company,” said Dave Wathen, president and CEO. “TriMas’ liquidity is strong with $156 million of cash and available liquidity under our revolving credit and receivables securitization facilities as of Sept. 30, 2009. Based on discussions with our financial advisers, we believe this is an excellent time to take advantage of the current credit markets to seek to extend the maturity of our debt.”
Cequent Performance Products will supply an optional cross-bed towing system on the 2011 Ford Super Duty F-series truck, according to Automotive News.
The towing system, for towing gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers of up to 25,000 pounds, is produced at the Cequent plant in Goshen, Ind., and then shipped to Magna International Inc.’s plant in Bowling Green, Ohio, for frame assembly and then on to Ford’s truck plant in Louisville, Ky.
Production of the trucks will start in January and the vehicles will be at dealerships by mid-February, a Cequent spokewoman told Automotive News. Cequent, a subsidiary of TriMas Corp. of suburban Detroit, makes cargo management and rack systems, towing and hitch systems and trailer and electrical brake systems.
Cequent Performance Products Inc. was recognized for the ROLA NV2 Bike Carrier as the “Best Engineered New Product” at the 2009 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Cequent is recognized as a leader in the automotive aftermarket. Launching new and innovative products that utilize new technologies allow us to offer more customer convenience and provides the opportunity for growth,” Tom Benson, president of Cequent Performance Products Inc., said in a news release. “We recognize SEMA had a large selection to choose from and we appreciate their recognition of our effort.”
According to the release, the NV2 2-place bike carrier adds style and sophistication to the already extreme world of competitive and leisure biking. The NV2’s convenient lightweight aluminum arms can easily be manipulated into three set positions for storage, loading, travel and trunk access. The unique rubberized cradle system protects from scratches and allows bikes of all styles and sizes to be carried from the rim of the wheel and not the frame. This is especially convenient for those who have to carry both adult and child size bikes. The patented flip shank allows you to convert from a 1-1/4-inch to a 2-inch receiver with the simple removal and replacement of a security pin and clip.
More information on the new NV2™ Bike Carrier is available online at www.rolaproducts.com.
In order to be considered, a product “must be identified as an engineering achievement that demonstrates innovative engineering development and one which advances the state-of-the-art technology in its particular field.”
SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) has served the automotive aftermarket industry for 46 years, of which Cequent Performance has been a contributing member for over 20. This trade association consists of a diverse group of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, vehicle restylers and restorers, car clubs, professional race teams and more.
TriMas Corp. today (July 20) announced that its Cequent Performance Products manufacturing plant in Goshen, Ind., has passed the one millionth-hour mark without having an injury that resulted in a lost work day.
This accomplishment represents validation of a program that was started five years ago to improve process flow and linkage in manufacturing operations, while focusing on safety, according to a news release. In addition to reducing lost-time accidents, it has also increased the company’s productivity and decreased costs.
Cequent’s Goshen facility produces and markets a wide array of trailer products and accessories for the original equipment manufacturer, wholesaler-distributor and retail markets. In particular, the plant fabricates trailer hitches, a process that entails a great deal of metalworking operations using saws, presses, drills, along with cut-off and welding equipment.
Five years ago, the plant increased its focus on improving the facility’s workflow and opted to place employees in a cell manufacturing environment, instead of having all the processes spread out around the plant floor. Machine and assembly operations were organized into linked cell centers, where material travel distances were greatly reduced and visibility was increased. These changes resulted in improvements in safety and ergonomics, reduced material handling and waste, and decreased cycle times for faster customer shipments.
“This accomplishment is primarily the result of the combined efforts of all of the employees at the Goshen facility,” said Steve Helser, Cequent Performance Products’ director of manufacturing. “The employees’ commitment to continual improvement in safety and productivity is a key element to our success. While we are pleased with this accomplishment, you can never rest. As soon as you think you have done the best you can, you find there are always more improvements to be made. Our goal is to be the fastest, leanest, broadest product line producer for our customers.”