By Rhoda Miel, Plastics News Staff
Williamston, Michigan-An auto industry plastics manufacturing veteran is about to buy two Collins & Aikman Corp. plants out of bankruptcy with plans to run them as a stand-alone business.
Williamston Products Inc. bid $2.9 million to purchase the blow moulding facilities in Williamston, which employ about 170. If the sale goes through as expected by the end of March, it will mark the first sale from bankrupt Collins & Aikman's plastics unit.
Williamston chief executive officer Frank Remesch declined to comment until the deal is complete. An auction for the sites took place on 14 March.
Williamston Products has no operations at this point and a business address in Troy, Michigan. But Remesch has a long history in the auto business. He ran plastics operations for Ford Motor Co. and its parts operation - later spun off as Visteon Corp.
Remesch oversaw Ford's injection moulding trim plant in Utica, Michigan, and ran the blow moulding and injection moulding site in Milan, also in Michigan - including the launch of six-layer co-extruded fuel tanks there.
He joined blow moulder Vitec llc in 2005 as vice president of manufacturing.
Collins & Aikman has been in Chapter 11 protection with the US Bankruptcy Court in Detroit since May 2005. The Southfield, Michigan-based company is now selling itself off, with the bidding now open for its more than $1000 million worth of automotive plastics.
Its biggest pending plastics deal is a bid by Troy, Michigan-based Cadence Innovation llc to buy nine of C&A's North American injection moulding operations. No auction date has been set yet for those plants.
While the injection moulding side of the firm has been getting most of the attention, the Williamston plants have boasted a solid reputation in the industry, winning a spot among the top manufacturing sites in North America in 2004 - the same year it won accolades as the top supplier to Ford's Wixom, Michigan, assembly plant.
The site has blow moulded head rests for DaimlerChrysler Corp. minivans and moulded pillar trim for Ford's Lincoln Town Car as well as other interior trim parts for automakers and other suppliers."