By Liz White, ERJ staff
Farmington Hills, Michigan-GDX Automotive has appointed David Thursfield, currently chairman of Cerberus Automotive Group, as executive chairman. Thursfield will also replace Morris Rowlett as interim chief executive officer of the rubber extrusion and moulding group.
Rowlett, appointed by Cerberus Capital Management LP when it bought the automotive profiles group from GenCorp, remains an advisor to the company through management consultancy firm RESK Consulting llc.
"I am excited about the opportunities at GDX as we integrate two recent acquisitions and drive a cost-competitive manufacturing base to serve our customers through superior engineering and operational excellence," said Thursfield, in a GDX statement. GDX bought two profiles operations with combined turnover of Euro 62 million, from SaarGummi earlier this year-in Quebec, Canada and in Mexico. It also bought Borg-Warner Inc.'s vibration damper business.
Thursfield joined Cerberus after retiring from Ford Motor Co. in May 2004. At Ford he had been executive VP and president, International Operations and Global Purchasing, and before that was chairman, ceo and president of Ford of Europe.
Rowlett has advised Cerberus on automotive and manufacturing-based acquisitions since 1998, including GDX Automotive, and continues in this role as a senior advisor to Cerberus portfolio companies.
GDX Automotive has its global headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan and its European headquarters and technical centre at Grefrath, Germany. The weatherstrip and glass encapsulation supplier has seven plants in North America, nine in Europe, two joint ventures in China and employs about 7500 people worldwide.