Hayes Lemmerz Realigns Global Operations

Sept. 22, 2009
Wheel/powertrain group wants customer focus, plus efficiencies

Hayes Lemmerz International Inc., a producer of aluminum and steel wheels for passenger cars and light trucks, steel wheels for commercial trucks and trailers, and automotive powertrain components, has realigned its global operations into three regions.

"The purpose of the realignment is to become more strategically focused in the operation of the business by aligning the organization into specific regions,” explained Fred Bentley, President and Chief Operating Officer. “This realignment allows us to continue our global focus on the customer base while creating additional efficiencies from the functional support groups. This is a great move for our business and allows us to continue to develop our future leaders."

The manufacturer filed a bankruptcy petition in May, having negotiated with its secured creditors to continue a restructuring program through a Chapter 11 filing. The agreed reorganization plan grants “substantially all of the equity” in the company to the lenders. Hayes Lemmerz says its goal is to reduce its corporate debt. Some of the lenders provided $100 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which will be converted to ownership stakes once the bankruptcy and reorganization are completed.

Hayes Lemmerz’s new global organization features operating groups in Turkey, Europe/Africa/Asia Pacific, and the Americas (North America, Mexico, Brazil.)

Mustafa Zaim, managing director of Turkish Operations will retain that role and assume additional responsibilities coordinating global materials management. Zaim also will act as an advisor on operation matters to the EAAP region. He will report to Bentley.

Pieter Klinkers has been promoted to president - Europe, Africa & Asia Pacific. David Kasul, managing director – Brazil, has been promoted to vice president - Operations for Europe and Africa. Marc Hendrickx will replace Klinkers as vice president - Sales & Marketing.

Donald Hampton, vice president - North American Wheels Group has been promoted to vice president and General Manager for the Americas. Luis Blecher has been promoted to managing director of Brazil, replacing Kasul, and will be responsible for all Brazilian operations.