Akebono Speaks To Reorganization Plans

DETROIT, Mich.–Akebono Brake Industry Co. Ltd. said Monday that it is proceeding with a turnaround “business revitalization plan and profitability improvement measures” with an eye toward a meeting with creditors and preferred shareholders on June 11 and a final plan in September.Akebono Brake

Akebono initiated a restructuring plan last week when its North American operations hit difficulty after seeing its business with General Motors take a hit following a restructuring and supplier consolidation at the automaker.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on April 6 that Akebono is considering closing two plants in the U.S. and one in Europe to reduce costs as the factories represent overcapacity given the company’s loss of business. But a statement by Akebono says that outcome has not been decided.

Akebono’s U.S. operations include plants in Elizabethtown and Glasgow, Kentucky, West Columbia South Carolina and Clarksville Tennessee. The company also has a facility in Guanajuato, Mexico. The company’s North American administrative offices are in Elizabethtown and Farmington Hills Michigan. It’s research and development and sales office is in Farmington Hills as well, not far from General Motors’ global headquarters.

Akebono is reorganizing with the help of its creditors and customers, principally its Japanese automaker clients. The brake supplier, which has an estimated 20% of the global market for brake pads, counts Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu as its main clients, but supplies to more companies as well.

Japanese press reports say the company needs to be recapitalized with upward to $300 million, but the company says that number has not been arrived at yet.

Akebono’s companies include divisions in Mexico, Slovakia, China, Thailand, and Japan.

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David Kiley is Chief of Content for The BRAKE Report. Kiley is an award-winning business journalist and author, having covered the auto industry for USA Today, Businessweek, AOL/Huffington Post, as well as written articles for Automobile and Popular Mechanics.