Cequent Workers in Limbo on Potential Closure

October 26, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Though it’s not looking good, a final decision has not been made regarding the closing of a Cequent Performance Products factory in Goshen, Ind., and moving it to Mexico, according to a company official.

The South Bend Tribune reported that if it does close, 450 workers in the trailer-hitch manufacturing factory will be looking for work.

Many workers from the Cequent factory packed a Goshen City Council meeting earlier this week to push city officials into trying to keep the plant open.

They wanted to know if there was any recourse the city could take regarding two tax abatements the company has been given, Mark Brinson, community development director for Goshen, said.

Brinson said the workers were told that the city is limited by the state statute on what it could do to recover taxes that had been abated.

One tax phase-in already has run its course, Brinson noted, and the company did not file for deductions on the active one, “so they did not receive any benefits this year.”

The company already moved one small portion of its operations to Mexico about a year ago.

The company told workers last week about its plans to close the factory, although company spokesman Alan Upchurch told The Goshen News that a final decision isn’t expected until next month.

“The increasingly competitive global market is forcing customers to demand the lowest cost products,” Upchurch told the Goshen paper. A move would also lower shipping costs because many of its customers have assembly plants in Mexico and the southern United States.

Upchurch said if Cequent, a subsidiary of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TriMas Corp., decided to close the Goshen factory, it would likely take much of 2013 to complete.

To read the entire article click here.



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Goshen, Elkhart Co. Work to Save Cequent Jobs

October 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Goshen, Ind., elected officials and employees say they will work their hardest to find a way the city can help Cequent Towing Products employees, but finding a solution might be difficult.

The Goshen News reported that parent company TriMas Corp. recently announced a preliminary recommendation to shut the Goshen facility, moving production lines to Reynosa, Mexico, according to a company statement. While it’s not a final decision, employees expect to hear the outcome by late November, according to the statement.

Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman and Dorinda Heiden-Guss, director of the Elkhart Economic Development Corp., are working to schedule a meeting with Cequent officials.

“I don’t know if there is anything we can do,” Kauffman said Wednesday (Oct. 24), adding he is certainly willing to try to help retain the jobs.

Heiden-Guss said it is a wage and benefits issues and as soon as she heard the news about the closure plans Friday she went to the plant to meet with company officials and was referred to other executives to arrange a future meeting. She believes that meeting will occur soon.

“Your heart does bleed for (Cequent employees),” Kauffman said. “These aren’t high-paying jobs anyway.”

He also expressed frustration with TriMas. He said the company had a good profit in 2011. He said of the planned move to Mexico, “I think it’s to drive the wages down and the profit up.”

The city’s most likely way of reclaiming anything against Cequent is through property tax phase-ins, according to city attorney Larry Barkes, who spoke at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The City Council approved two property tax phase-ins for the company over the past seven years, both for equipment improvements.

To read the entire report click here.


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TriMas Corp. Posts Record Revenues During 3Q

October 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bloomfield, Mich.-based Trimas Corp. reported record sales of $335.9 million in its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, due to the “successful execution of numerous growth initiatives and results from bolt-on acquisitions.”

Trimas, parent to RV supplier Cequent Performance Products, said third-quarter revenue reflected a 21% increase from $277.7 million in third quarter 2011. During the period, net sales increased in all six reportable segments.

“Our record third quarter sales demonstrates we are successfully executing on our growth strategies,” said David Wathen, TriMas president and CEO. “We achieved sales growth of 21.0% during the third quarter, resulting from our bolt-on acquisitions, product innovation, market share gains and geographic expansion. In the midst of an uncertain global economic environment, we identify the bright spots where we believe we can capture growth for our businesses. We are making careful decisions to accelerate growth programs that are working, as we capitalize on opportunities that will drive long-term stakeholder value, while still mitigating and controlling risks.”

Net income during the third quarter was $18.7 million compared to $18.3 million the previous year while operating profit was $36.6 million.

The company’s Cequent America segment reported a 6.7% rise in sales compared to the year ago period. The increases were the result of newer product launches and continued market share gains. Third quarter operating profit increased compared to the prior year period as a result of higher sales levels, excluding the costs incurred related to the relocation of certain production to a lower cost country.

To read the entire report click here.



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Cequent Looks at Closing Goshen, Ind., Facility

October 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TriMas Corp., parent company of Cequent Performance Products, has reached a preliminary recommendation to shut down its Goshen, Ind., plant, according to TriMas spokesperson Alan Upchurch.

“This is just a preliminary recommendation,” Upchurch said. “The final decision will be made sometime in mid- to late November.”

According to a report in the Goshen News, Upchurch said the Cequent facility in Goshen employs about 450 people. While some of those may be able to transfer to another plant, he was not sure how many or when.

“Every year, the company evaluates growth plans,” Upchurch said. “In the evaluation, they saw the need to make changes to make the business more competitive, which is why there is the preliminary recommendation.”

Employees of Cequent were informed of this recommendation last week, according to Upchurch.

Cequent is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of accessories for light trucks, sport utility vehicles, recreational vehicles, passenger cars and trailers of all types. Products include cargo management and rack systems, towing and hitch systems and trailer and electrical brake systems. Brands include Bulldog, ROLA, Highland, The Pro’s Brand, Draw-Tite, Reese, Hidden Hitch, Fulton, Wesbar and Tekonsha.

According to TriMas’ website, the parent company had net sales of $1.084 billion in 2011, with 35% of those sales coming from Cequent North America, which includes the Goshen plant. The 2011 net sales were the highest figures for TriMas since 2008, according to the website.


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TriMas Will Sell 1.5M Shares to Deutsche Bank

August 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TriMas Corp., parent to RV supplier Cequent Performance Products, announced that Heartland Industrial Associates L.L.C. has agreed to sell 1.5 million shares of its common stock to Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. as the sole underwriter in the registered public offering of those shares. reported that all net proceeds from the sale of the common stock will be received by the selling stockholder. TriMas will not receive any of the proceeds.

The total number of outstanding shares of TriMas common stock will not change as a result of this offering.

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TriMas to Pay Down $50M in Principal on Debt

May 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TriMas Corp., parent to  Cequent Performance Products, will pay down $50 million of long-term principal on senior secured debt notes due in 2017, the company reported in a recent notice to Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. NA, trustee of the notes.

Crain’s Detroit Business reported that the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based manufacturer of engineered and applied products in the energy, aerospace, recreational vehicle and other industries gave that notice under an optional redemption provision of a 2009 indenture governing notes at 9.75% interest.

TriMas expects about $200 million of debt principal will remain outstanding after the redemption. The redemption price will include the principal and interest rate, plus all accrued and unpaid interest as of next month. After the redemption, the company expects to have about $200 million in debt principal remaining on those notes.

On May 2, the company raised $83 million, minus some fees, from an offering of 4 million new shares of stock for “general corporate purposes,” which could include repayment of long-term debt or company acquisitions, according to a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission report. It was unclear whether any funds from that offering were put toward payment on the debt notes.


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TriMas Corp. to Hold Investor and Analyst Day

May 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TriMas Corp. announced it will hold an Investor and Analyst Day at the NASDAQ MarketSite on May 16, beginning at 8 a.m. (Eastern). According to a press release, TriMas will also preside over NASDAQ’s Closing Bell Ceremony the same afternoon.

TriMas’ leadership team, including Tom Benson, president of Cequent Performance Products, will present the company’s growth strategies, strategic goals and financial performance, as well as provide time for questions and answers.

The event will be available to the public via a live webcast. Interested parties may access the event on the internet at To listen to the live event, please go to the website at least 15 minutes early to register, download, and install any necessary audio software. For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a replay, including slides, will be available within 24 hours after the event. The televised closing bell ceremony will be broadcast live via webcast at

For more information about the event or to secure a reservation, please contact Christine Parker at or (248) 631-5438.

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TriMas Corp. Announces Public Stock Offering

May 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TriMas Corp., parent to Cequent Performance Products, today (May 2) announced that it is commencing an offering of 4 million shares of its common stock in a public offering.

The underwriters will have a 30-day option from the date of the offering to purchase up to an additional 600,000 shares from TriMas. TriMas expects to use its proceeds from the sale of the common stock for general corporate purposes.

Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman, Sachs & Co. are acting as the joint book runners for the offering.


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Trimas Tallies Record 1Q Sales, Earnings Grow

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.


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TriMas Corp. Reports Record 4Q, Full-Year Sales

February 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TriMas Corp., parent of RV supplier Cequent Performance Products Inc., today (Feb. 27) reported record fourth-quarter and full-year sales.

Revenue during the fourth quarter from continuing operations was $259.7 million, an increase of 22.2% compared to fourth quarter 2010. Fourth quarter 2011 income from continuing operations was $7.1 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, as compared to $7.6 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2010.

For the year ended Dec. 31, the company reported sales from continuing operations of just over $1 billion, an increase of 20.1% compared to 2010. TiMas reported full year income from continuing operations of $50.8 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $38.9 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, in 2010.

Other TriMas 2011 highlights:

• Generated 2011 Free Cash Flow of $63.2 million, or more than 115% of income from continuing operations.

• Reduced total indebtedness, net of cash, from $448.3 million as of Dec. 31, 2010, to $381.0 million as of Dec. 31, 2011.

• Refined the business portfolio to support strategic imperatives and drive the highest return for stakeholders by completing three bolt-on acquisitions and selling the precision cutting tool and specialty fittings businesses.

• Refinanced the company’s U.S. credit facilities and amended its accounts receivable facility to reduce interest costs, extend maturities and improve financial and operational flexibility.

The company also announced acquisition of 70% ownership of Arminak & Associates, a leader in the design and supply of foamers, lotion pumps, fine mist sprayers and other packaging solutions for the cosmetic, personal care and household product markets. Arminak will become part of Rieke, within the Packaging segment.

“We are proud of our many accomplishments in 2011, as our balanced and structured approach to growth, productivity and cash generation drove positive results, significantly better than our early expectations,” said David Wathen, TriMas president and CEO. “We achieved sales growth of 20%, resulting primarily from the successful execution of our strategic growth initiatives including product innovation, geographic expansion and bolt-on acquisitions. We remained focused on our productivity and lean initiatives, and we used these savings to fund growth, offset inflation and maintain operating margin in a year of increased growth investment. We generated strong cash flow, managed our operating working capital as a percentage of sales and reduced interest costs. All of these successes, made possible by our dedicated employees, contributed to our earnings growth of approximately 40% on a comparable basis with 2010.”

To view the entire report click here.

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