Accuride has built a strong reputation among commercial vehicle OEMs, manufacturing and supplying a diverse array of medium/heavy duty truck (as well as commercial trailer) components via the company’s four operating arms/brands, which include Accuride, Gunite, Imperial, and Brillion. The company has recently refocused efforts on shoring up domestic operations and has scaled back international expansion efforts to ensure shareholder returns through maximizing market penetration in the core wheel-end system solutions space (as well as body/chassis pieces).
With top commercial vehicle OEM clients like Daimler Truck North America, LLC (Freightliner/Western Star lines of trucks), PACCAR (Peterbilt/Kenworth lines), and Volvo/Mack being the salient fixtures, it’s not hard to see why Accuride components are in just about every heavy-duty truck built in North America. The major light truck client is General Motors, and with customers like Great Dane and Wabash National chief among the commercial trailer end markets, Accuride is clearly very well positioned to capitalize on the relevant domestic vectors as an accepted industry standard for a variety of vehicles.
Looking at the four highly-visible brands presented below, we see a clear business strategy focused on capturing a tight configuration that offers considerable resistance to incursion by competitors. Resistance that is especially daunting to competition considering the way the brands have already proliferated, securing large contiguous sections of territory thanks to the ample product portfolio and firm grasp of the OEM aftermarket channels.
Accuride Wheels manufacturers/supplies one of the largest selections of extremely robust commercial vehicle wheels, wheel-end assemblies, and ancillary vehicle components in the domestic market. Constant commitment to upgrading production practices and hardware have continued to define the company among clients as a true leader, and ACW is committed to embracing the latest medium/heavy steel disc wheel manufacturing technologies available. With lots of edge space in military, specialty, busses, and a range of commercial light trucks (in addition to the core medium-duty to heavy-duty truck market), Accuride Wheels is shaping up to become the premier supplier in the domestic space and is the only (medium/heavy) manufacturer/supplier in North America to offer both steel and forged aluminum wheels.
Gunite has developed an 80-year track record shattering limitations in wheel-end components, with some of the top brake drum, disc wheel hub, spoke wheel, rotor, and slack adjuster products on the market today. Gunite thrives on the same philosophy that has allowed ACW to progress as a whole, with advancements in design, metallurgy, and testing all contributing to obtaining an industry-standard position in the constantly evolving class 5-8 truck and trailer space. Quality, reliability, and performance are what customers have come to expect from Gunite and ACW has dedicated considerable momentum in 2012 and beyond to maximizing operational efficiency of the Gunite business unit.
Imperial Group handles the truck body/chassis facet of the business model, providing pieces for a range of vehicles all the way up to busses and specialty vehicles (everything from the bumpers to the fuel tanks, with 800 employees churning out some 15k unique components). As with other business units, the company is dedicated to ensuring tight OEM relationships and strives to execute on the most complete quality control profile possible, with each individual facility maintaining highly adapted practices that are in line with maintaining the TS-16949 and ISO-14001 certifications.
Brillion Iron Works currently runs one of the biggest, most technologically advanced/versatile domestic iron foundries, with a staff of some 1k and annual output of approximately 145k net tons of gray and ductile iron castings per year. Brillion has been churning out metal since the turn of the century and has seen constant upgrades as the decades have passed, today offering one of the most complete production envelopes anywhere (from intricate, lightweight, thin-walled castings to highly-cored and heavy-sectioned ones). With a wide area of effect on market penetration spanning heavy trucks and construction equipment, into light trucks and autos (as well as air-cooled engines, hydraulic valves, and other custom applications), Brillion has complete in-house production and the market vector to continue to add to the company’s bottom line.
With 15 strategically located manufacturing facilities across North America, Accuride is on the leading edge of implementing advanced production techniques. Management currently projects ACW as ranking number one or two across core markets like brake drums, disc wheel hubs, forged aluminum wheels, metal bumpers for commercial vehicles, and of course high-quality steel wheels.
These guys make more medium/heavy truck steel wheels than anyone else in North America. We’re talking about a company that has on-site plant managers with decades of experience in the leading technologies of the industry, who, while overseeing the quality of the metal, products, and safety of the workplace, are also constantly looking to adapt and innovate into new areas/markets. You can tell just looking at the product portfolio that ACW is run and staffed by people who eat, sleep, and breathe the industry, as they have put together easily the most compelling offer possible for most OEMs.