Pharos-Tribune

October 24, 2013

Federal-Mogul parts ways with Logansport

Fuel pump plant divested in global restructuring.

by Sarah Einselen Pharos-Tribune
Pharos-Tribune

---- — Logansport’s Federal-Mogul fuel pump manufacturing plant is no longer part of the global publicly held company.

The plant at 101 E. Industrial Blvd., its engineering center and related assets, including the Carter brand of fuel pumps, was recently sold, Federal-Mogul executives said Wednesday.

The divestiture came as part of the company’s global restructuring and refocus on its core products. The fuel pumps manufactured in Logansport were “non-core business that don’t fit our long term strategic plan,” according to Rainer Jueckstock, co-CEO of Federal-Mogul’s Powertrain segment, under which the Logansport plant had formerly been incorporated.

The plant, now named Carter Fuel Systems, had generated $80 million in sales in 2013 up until its divestiture, according to a press release from Federal-Mogul, and employed 380 people.

The plant was one of seven plants employing more than a thousand people that Federal-Mogul sold this year.

“The company made several acquisitions in the late 1990s and early 2000s,” said Steven Gaut, spokesman for Federal-Mogul. “As part of those acquisitions, we absorbed business lines that had direct alignment with products we were already in, but there were also several business lines ... that didn’t really merge into the portfolio of the company.”

Federal-Mogul sold seven plants this year — three under the Sintertech name located in France, a cam-shaft casting plant in the United Kingdom, a connecting rod manufacturing plant in Canada and a machining plant in Germany, as well as the Logansport plant — which were described in a Federal-Mogul quarterly earnings presentation as located in “high-cost countries.”

“Ultimately they weren’t going to get the kind of strategic focus at Federal-Mogul that they would someplace else,” Gaut said.

Gaut indicated all employees at the Logansport plant had received offers of employment from the current owner.

The company planned divestitures “by finding buyers who are industrial buyers, companies who are in manufacturing already who could focus on those businesses ... grow them as more of a core part of their portfolio,” said Gaut.

He declined to name the buyer of the Logansport plant, saying the unnamed company hadn’t given Gaut liberty to identify them.

“They’ve just said, ‘we’ve made a private transaction, that’s the way we want to keep it,’” said Gaut.

Cass County property records indicate that the entity that owns the plant, Carter Fuel Systems LLC, has an address in Cleveland, Ohio, that corresponds to the address listed on the website of Crowne Group, a manufacturer of automotive, aftermarket and industrial products. The Crowne website also lists Carter Fuel Systems among the seven companies in its Crowne Automotive Group.

Voice mail messages left at the phone number listed on Crowne Group’s website requesting clarification of the group’s connection with Carter Fuel Systems in Logansport were not immediately returned.

Ivy Tech-Logansport and Carter Fuel Systems will be continuing the plant’s training partnership with the college that started with Federal-Mogul, according to an Ivy Tech spokeswoman.

Jan Bailey, executive director for Ivy Tech Kokomo Region’s Corporate College and workforce solutions, said she was “confident” in the partnership.

“All the individuals that we’ve worked with before, we’re still working with,” Bailey said. “We work with them and they are still interested in the certified production technician [certification] when they hire people.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151. Twitter: @PharosSME