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.