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In the Driver’s Seat

When your facility is a considerable distance from your customers, high shipping costs have to be compensated by lower manufacturing costs to be competitive, as Gary Toushek discovers at seat maker Camaco LLC

In 1996 the P&C Group, headed by Arvind Pradhan, acquired Lorain County Automotive Systems in Lorain, OH, which manufactured automotive headrest frames; then in 1998 P&C built Advanced Automotive Systems nearby, to produce various interior components including seat backs and frames. A year later P&C jointventured with Magna International; Magna sold Douglas & Lomason, a manufacturer of mainly seat frames, to P&C, which renamed itself Camaco. Besides the Ohio plants, Camaco has a facility in Marianna, AR, and Columbus, NE, and headquarters in Novi, MI. Sales went from $12 million in 1996 to about $180 million in 2002.

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Manufacturing Today

Camaco LLC

In terms of function and importance, a car’s seat is perhaps second to only the engine in priority. Although the vehicle can function without it, there’s little doubt that a well-made and comfortable seat is absolutely essential to a motorist’s experience.

The company, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., is the largest independent supplier of engineered seat frames to the North American automotive industry. The company recently relocated its offices from Novi, Mich., in order to double its office space.

Camaco’s products include stamped metal and wire frame seat structures, headrest and armrest structures, visor rod and towel bars, complementary metal reinforcement components, and instrument panel and console substrates.

“We are a fully vertically integrated supplier that manufactures the structure of the seat from the floor up,” Global Purchasing Manager Vishal Pradhan says. “We manufacture and design mechanisms ourselves or integrate mechanisms from other suppliers into our seats and ship them to Tier 1 suppliers of the OEMs choice.”

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Arvind Pradhan Named Entrepreneur Of The Year

Ernst & Young LLP today announced the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award winners in Michigan and Northwest Ohio. The award recognizes outstanding high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. The finalists and winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and honored at a gala event at the MGM Grand, Detroit on Thursday, June 20, 2013.

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