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Platinum Equity combined two of its holding to form “Chassix,” a company named to emphasize its expertise in producing automotive chassis components — and an “X” to signify “a multiplier of the new company’s size and strength … (and) mission to exceed customer expectations.”

New Group Specializing in Chassis for Global Auto Market

April 30, 2013
Eight countries, 25 plants, 3,600 employees Aluminum, ductile iron casting Chassis, brake, and powertrain parts

The prospect of an integrated manufacturing organization with casting and machining capabilities continues to draw investors. The latest is Platinum Equity, which has combined its Diversified Machine Inc. and SMW Automotive LLC holdings into a $1.2-billion global enterprise with 3,600 employees at 25 plants in eight countries. Chassix, as the new company is called, calls itself the largest chassis casting and machining company in the global automotive supply chain.

Its assets include plants once associated with metalcasters like Aluminum Casting and Engineering Co., Citation Corp., Intermet Corp., Hayes Lemmerz, and Metaldyne, among others.

The headquarters are in Troy and Wixom, MI, but other operations are in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and offshore in Brazil (two plants), China (three plants,) France, Mexico, and Spain.

“There is a huge demand for high-quality, advanced casting and machining suppliers, particularly those that are skilled in casting traditional ductile iron as well as those able to meet the growing demand for precisely machined lightweight aluminum components,” stated Robert J. Remenar, Chassix president and CEO. “The automotive industry was missing a truly global player with the full service capabilities and operations to serve manufacturers on global platforms, and now Chassix fills that role.”

Platinum Equity estimated its combination of holdings as a $1.2-billion global enterprise.

The new company’s products are not only chassis components (upper and lower control arms assemblies, front and rear cross members, front and rear steering knuckles, and more), but also brake parts knuckles and spindles, brake calipers and park brakes, rotors, and more), and powertrain products (engine blocks, intake manifolds, cylinder heads, transmission housings, and more.)

Platinum Equity is a private investor group that buys companies across a range of markets, including distribution, entertainment, hospitality, industrial, IT service/software, manufacturing, medical, telecom, and transport/logistics. It bought Diversified Machine Inc. in December 2011 and SMW Automotive LLC in January 2012.

The organization’s metalcasting capabilities include tilt pouring, squeeze casting, gravity diecasting, and green sand casting of aluminum, as well as pressure counter pressure casting (PCPC), vacuum riserless casting (VRC) and pressure riserless casting (PRC). It also has high-volume, ductile-iron green sand casting.

Chassix’ finishing capabilities include full machining for castings in aluminum and ductile iron, heat treating, and assembly operations.

“The combination of these two, large complementary businesses not only doubles our global footprint – a key advantage in this industry – but also marries two distinct areas of expertise: DMI’s leadership in casting with SMW’s leading 24/7 design and engineering expertise in machining,” added Remenar. “Together they make a financially strong market leader with significant growth potential.”