TASMANIA, Australia – ACL Distribution Inc. has acquired the assets of ACL Bearing Company of Tasmania, Australia, according to Aftermarket News and Engine Builder. Based out of Grand Rapids, Mich., ACL Distribution is a manufacturer and distributor of engine bearings for The Bearing Company, a supplier of ACL Distribution. The company was a manufacturer of bearings and other automotive components for the original equipment and replacement markets throughout the world until entering receivership in 2009. The Bearing Company is the primary source for the U.S. company's Race Series brand of performance bearings.
According to reports, ACL plans to open a plant and manage production in Tasmania by the end of the year. The new company will focus exclusively on manufacturing performance bearings as well as traditional bearings for the car and light truck aftermarket. There will be no OEM production.
In announcing the transaction, Tim Vehlewald, president and CEO of ACL Distribution, said, “The acquisition is a serious event for ACL Distribution. We now have control of our destiny in that the output of three factories in Tasmania is at our command. We oversee production, and that allows us to produce Race Series bearings as required. That was not always the situation since our Race Series orders took a back seat to OEM needs. That circumstance frequently resulted in delivery delays for us and, subsequently, for our customers. And when you factor in the required shipping time from Australia to the U.S., the problem compounded. Frequently, we had to air-freight containers from Tasmania to Grand Rapids to meet deadlines. That’s all changed – for us and our customers.”