CHICAGO Drew Industries
Inc. is increasingly selling aluminum extrusions to third
parties as well as looking to offer aluminum alternatives to
steel parts, an executive said.
The White Plains, N.Y.-based
parts maker for the manufactured home and recreational vehicle
(RV) markets has been selling aluminum extrusions to outside
parties "going back a few quarters," according to Jason
Lippert, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of
Drew subsidiaries Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc.
Lippert will become Drews president and chief executive
officer when Fred Zinn retires May 10 (
amm.com, Feb. 13).
"Were finding that there
are customers out there looking for a good supplier," Lippert
said during a conference call with analysts May 3. "Its
opened some doors for us. There are so many industries out
there ... that use aluminum extrusion components."
Lippert Components announced
last year that it was ramping up three aluminum extrusion
presses at its Elkhart, Ind., facility (
amm.com, May 2, 2012).
"Were definitely taking
care of the aluminum products within our own operations,"
Lippert said. "Were doing the parts that we want to do,
the parts that seem to be the most profitable."
In addition, the company is also
looking to replace steel parts with aluminum ones when the
switch makes sense, he said.
Thats especially so in
cases where the company can create an extrusion capable of
replacing a steel part that might require more labor, Lippert
said. "You can just do more with aluminum shapes. You can
create a shape for just about anything in aluminum," he
Drews extrusion and axle
products are gaining market share in the specialty trailer
markets, Lippert said. Overall, supplying aluminum extrusions
to industries adjacent to Drews current markets or even
finding new industries to supply is a "huge opportunity for us
going forward," he said.
Separately, Lippert noted that Drew is in a better position
to consider potential acquisitions now than it was previously,
given that past acquisitions and structural changes within the
company have largely been digested. "There are acquisition
opportunities on the table now," he said. "This will be a good
year for us to do it, if there are any ... (that) have the
value to be worthy of us considering it and pushing the