Martinrea International manufactures assemblies, metal parts, and fluid systems, primarily for the automotive industry. The company produces components for car brakes, engines, exhaust, steering, and transmission systems, among others. Its processes include such production methods as hydroforming, laser cutting, stamping, and welding. The company also offers product prototyping services for products ranging from bus frame assemblies to tube rails and heavy-duty recycling boxes. Customers include Chrysler, Deere, Ford, General Motors, and Volkswagen.
North American driving habits have shaped Martinrea's business plan. Although frame assembly for SUVs was represented the bulk of the company's revenues, the company is shifting towards smaller vehicles. By 2012 the company's mainsty should come from much smaller vehicles such as the Ford Focus and Escape as well as GM's Cruze. Martinrea was also awarded a contract to produce front and rear cradles for the Fiat 500, a subcompact expected to hit dealer showrooms in 2011.
In 2009 Martinrea bought two plants and assets from other plants from SKD Automotive for about $13 million, adding Honda to its customer portfolio. The company bought plants in Jonesville, Michigan, and near Mexico City from SKD, which sought protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act of Canada earlier in the year. Under a court-supervised auction, Martinrea also bought equipment and inventory from SKD plants in Canada, and will move the equipment to its plants in Canada and the US. The Jonesville metal stamping facility's biggest customers are Chrysler, Ford, and Honda, while the Mexican metal forming plant's customers include Chrysler, GM, and VW.
Although Martinrea lost money in 2008, amid the global downturn in the automotive industry, the company has little debt and is on sound financial footing, unlike many of its peers, and thus able to function as a consolidator of operating assets. The company makes most of its sales in North America, which was hardest hit by the recession-driven downturn, pushing Chrysler and GM into Chapter 11 bankruptcies, along with many other parts suppliers. Martinrea looks for automotive OEMs to reduce their number of Tier 1 suppliers as a result, and to outsource more production. The company may pursue more acquisitions in 2009 and beyond, as it looks to survive the worst automotive industry shakeout in decades.
Martinrea International is growing its presence in the market segments in which it competes through targeted acquisitions. The company teamed up in mid-2011 with Anchorage Capital Group and acquired Honsel AG, a Germany-based light-metal component supplier. Martinrea International holds a 55% stake and Anchorage Capital the remaining shares. In 2006 Martinrea bought the automotive body and chassis operations of Thyssen Krupp Budd Company for about $275 million. The deal included 13 plants that make a variety of components, including body stampings, welded assemblies, sheet metal stampings, bumpers, and suspension assemblies. Also that year Martinrea bought Depco International, a maker of injection-molded and roll-formed metal parts for the automotive industry, for about $17.6 million. – less