How Douglas Grimm turned Grede Holdings into a leading manufacturer Featured

8:01pm EDT June 30, 2011
Douglas Grimm Douglas Grimm

Grede Holdings LLC is an industry-leading manufacturer of gray and ductile iron castings. However, that wasn’t the case just a few years ago. In 2009, Grede Foundries Inc. and Citation Corp., the two companies that now make up Grede Holdings, were struggling through the recession. Douglas Grimm, who was CEO of Citation Corp. in 2008, saw potential in both companies and began considering combining forces to get through the downturn.

Four months before the deal was finalized, Grimm underwent a deep evaluation of Grede’s capabilities, assessing synergies and weighing how the company might fit with Citation. He used no outside consultants and turned to Citation’s majority shareholders to consider purchasing Grede’s assets.

Following the merger in February 2010, Grimm was elected chairman, president and CEO of the newly formed company, Grede Holdings LLC and was recognized by a local publication with a “Deal of the Year” award.

Today, the company is the largest and most diversified independent North American manufacturer of iron castings and ranks as the No. 1 or No. 2 castings supplier in its primary markets. The company’s customers include leading automotive, heavy truck, construction, agricultural, mining, rail and wind energy equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Ford, GM, Navistar, John Deere, Honda, Daimler, Cummins, Honeywell, Ingersoll-Rand and American Axle.

Grimm’s vision and leadership set the company on a path toward revival and growth. His new challenge is forming integration teams and communicating to all 3,800 employees across 13 foundries in six states to get them on the same page.

Grimm had projected 2010 revenue for a set amount but increased that projection by more than 20 percent as the economy recovered and brought on a boost in customer orders and new business. Following the acquisition of a North Carolina castings machine operation in 2010, and an acquisition this year, Grede’s revenue will continue to climb.

HOW TO REACH: Grede Holdings LLC, (248) 440-9500 or www.grede.com