Benteler Automotive is the US automotive parts manufacturing outpost of Germany's Benteler Group. Benteler Automotive -- the largest revenue generator of the Benteler Group's three business divisions -- manufactures such auto parts as chassis components (crossmembers and suspension modules), structural components (bumper and door beams, pillar reinforcements, roof and side rails), exhaust manifolds, and exhaust and engine systems. The company also offers engineering services. The Benteler Group's operations include nearly 70 plants in more than two dozen countries. Founded in 1935, Benteler Automotive got its start manufacturing exhaust pipes for the Ford Eifel.
After watching its sales decline in 2008 and 2009, Benteler Automotive saw them rebound by 34% in 2010. The company, which benefited from improved conditions in the global economy, experienced its biggest gains in its engine and exhaust systems product group. Overall, Benteler Automotive accounts for nearly 80% of its parent's revenue.
Moving forward, the company is answering industry-wide demand for high performance, lighter weight vehicles. In late 2009 it acquired the aluminum structural parts business of Norsk Hydro. The deal expanded Benteler Automotive's lightweight construction offerings. Through Benteler SGL, a 50-50 joint venture with SGL Group, Benteler Automotive is developing a number of auto components based on carbon-fibre reinforced composites (CFRP).
The company also pumped more than $19 million into a Grand Rapids, Michigan plant to manufacture a series of new exhaust systems for Ford Motor. The investment included a fully-automated rollform line used to make rocker panels on the Ford Focus. Besides Ford, Benteler Automotive's customers have included Chrysler, Nissan Motor, and automotive components manufacturer Cummins.