“Roots.” “The Thorn Birds.” The “Police Academy” movies. And the Taiwan aftermarket (A/M) parts manufacturers series in BodyShop Business. What do they all have in common? They all had to come to an end (some endings more welcome than others). Here we conclude the Taiwanese A/M parts manufacturers series with an analysis of one more sheet-metal group (Auto Parts Industrial, Ltd.) and an auto lamp manufacturer (TYC) get analyzed. There are plenty of other parts manufacturers in Taiwan, but space was limited. Maybe some day, another series will run if the demand is there. (Remember “Roots: The Next Generations”?)
Auto Parts Industrial, Ltd. (API)
API was founded in 1979 by General Manager Frank Gong and Vice General Manager Parkson Jong, establishing an international trading company of A/M parts. In 1988, the trading company merged with a number of small sheet-metal manufacturers, and at this point its name was changed to Auto Parts Industrial, Ltd. (API). Merging continued well into the ’90s, as API joined forces with Tie Shine Industrial Co., Summax Auto Parts, Inc. and Evergreen Auto Body Parts Manufacturer Co. in July of 1998.
In an effort to achieve their goal of providing a “one-stop shopping” experience for distributors of A/M parts and a high-quality, reliable product to end-user collision repairers, API is merging with Yung Shine Industrial Companies, Inc. In addition, API has an interest in a number of subsidiary companies that produce steel bumper and bumper reinforcements, as well as header panels.
API produces more than 1,500 items by self-owned tooling and has more than 35,000 available items for trade. In an effort to ensure efficient shipping costs and avoid damage in delivery, API incorporates a method of “just-tight loading.” This, coupled with a strict pre-delivery inspection, helps ensure better quality products.
API recently opened a new 900,000-square-foot facility, which houses the operations office, production factory and logistics warehouse. And with the new facility comes new machines. “The new plant appears twice as big as their previous one,” says Don Feeley, owner of City Body and Frame in Riverside, Calif., and president of the California Autobody Association, who visited the plants this spring. “But despite the large size of the plant, they made efficient use of the space. Nothing was wasted.”
This recent group of visitors to the Taiwanese plants spent four to five hours at each facility, in addition to discussing issues with the plant owners and personnel. “We were at each plant for as long as it took to see everything,” says Feeley. “The meetings were conducive, as well. The people at API really listened to what we had to say and really seemed to understand our concerns.”
API plans to increase its presence in the U.S. market with an emphasis on quality products and efficient service. Building a new and bigger plant is a big step toward that goal.
TYC Automotive Replacement Products
TYC is a division of Tong Yang Industries and is marketed by the Genera Corporation, located in La Palma, Calif.
The original company was founded in 1964, but was reorganized and established as TYC Brother Industrial Co., Ltd. in 1986. TYC Brother specializes in replacement lamp assemblies including headlamps, taillamps, park/signal lamps, side markers and fog lamps. The company also manufactures replacement sideview mirrors, condensers and radiators. Initially, TYC only had lamps on its product list. But by merging with Zung-Zo Co. in 1989 and Da-Yi Co. in 1990, it was able to diversify its product line and add more accessories.
TYC has multiple manufacturing sites in Southern Taiwan, with additional sites in China, Thailand and Iran. Not only that, but TYC has four distribution centers in the United States. You can find those in Ontario, Calif.; Coppell, Texas; Aurora, Ill.; and Cranbury, N.J. More than 400,000 combined square feet of warehousing space is located among these four distribution centers.
TYC’s worldwide distribution network includes customers in more than 70 countries. The company also supplies OEM parts to manufacturers in the United States, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
A/M parts supplied to the United States are 100 percent certified compliant with the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safetey Standards (FVMSS) and meet all DOT/SAE specifications and regulation.
For much of the ’90s, TYC has attempted to expand its market into the North American and European markets, what it’s dubbed the “A Group” markets. TYC managed to overcome the Asian financial crisis of the latter part of the decade and continued its decade-long growth.
In February of this year, TYC enhanced its technology by helping to found DBM Reflex of Taiwan Co., Ltd., which is part of the DBM company in Canada. DBM specializes in lamp reflector technology.
Co-writer Karen Fierst is president of KerenOr Consultants, a firm out of Silver Spring, Md. She also serves as TABPA liaison to the U.S. market. She can be reached at (301) 681-4383 or at ([email protected]).
Co-writer Mike Lawrence is associate editor of BodyShop Business.
|Thumbs Up for API
Says shop owner Don Feeley, who visited last spring: “When it comes to manufacturing sheet metal, there’s a lot to consider, and API has a handle on all that. API had a new facility with new machines when I visited. The place was very clean, and the meeting we had with them was very conducive.”
Auto Parts Industrial, Ltd.
Year founded: 1979
Location on island: Near Taipei
Products: sheet-metal parts (hoods, fenders, doors, radiator supports, tailgates) re-bars, steel bumpers and header panels
Percentage of product to United States: 60 percent
Size of facility: Three production lines
Size of operation: Fourth largest producer of CAPA parts.*
Complaints received: Ranked third highest in number of complaints received. Based on the ratio of the number of valid complaints received to parts produced, API’s complaint rate was .07 percent.*
Went public on Taiwan stock market: In progress
Number of employees: 350
Information provided by KerenOr Consultants, except for *, which was provided by CAPA and other sources.
TYC Automotive Replacement Products
Year founded: 1964
Location on island: Tainan, in Southern Taiwan
Products: Automotive replacement lamp assemblies
Markets: For OEM products: Southeast Asia, South Africa, United States and Europe; for A/M: United States, Canada and more than 70 other countries
Percentage of product to United States: 40 percent of A/M production
ISO 9002-accredited: 1993
ISO 9001-accredited: 1998
CAPA-accredited: Not applicable — all products must meet U.S. federal safety standards
Went public on Taiwan stock market: 1997
Number of employees: 1,000
U.S. based representative: Genera Corp.
Information provided by KerenOr Consultants.
|Mixed Reviews for TYC
Says shop owner Chuck Sulkala, who visited the manufacturing plant last year: “I think they were trying to do a good job, but they weren’t really listening to us. They were a young group of people, and the employees seemed quite proud of the work they were doing. But I wasn’t overly impressed by it.”
Says shop owner Don Feeley, who visited this spring: “It wasn’t as big as its partner company, Taiwan Kai Yih [TKY, a facility chronicled in August’s BodyShop Business], but TYC was a good-sized facility and there was no wasted space. The materials they produced looked good.”