Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

KUKA Systems becomes Number 1 automotive systems supplier in North America: Acquisition of Utica Companies’ plant engineering business

April 19, 2013

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI and AUGSBURG, Germany, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – KUKA
Systems Group, one of the world’s largest systems integrators, has
acquired the plant engineering business of privately owned Utica
Companies of Shelby Township, MI, a welding equipment specialist and
supplier to the automobile industry. With this transaction, KUKA
Systems becomes the Number 1 manufacturing systems supplier to the
North American automotive sector. The purchase price was not disclosed
but is in the low double digit million euro range.

“This acquisition follows our strategy of being Number 1 or 2 in our
respective markets. It not only adds new customers, but will enable us
to continue our profitable growth in North America and in Asia”, says
Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG, the holding company that owns KUKA
Systems Group.

KUKA Systems is an innovator in production line automation, flexible
manufacturing concepts, robotic cells for specific assembly processes,
including new welding technologies for joining steel to steel or metals
with different thermal coefficients like steel and alloys of aluminum.

“With this acquisition KUKA Systems is leveraging its technologies,”
says Lawrence A. Drake, President and CEO of KUKA Systems Group.
“Moreover, our customers will benefit from an expanded manufacturing
footprint, talent pool and knowledge base with greater economies of
scale. It also stresses our leadership in welding and other joining
technologies. We are excited to welcome Utica employees joining KUKA.”

Both companies’ core market is automotive assembly although KUKA Systems
has diversified successfully into building production lines and
platforms for aerospace, energy and other industries.

The Utica acquisition primarily covers automobile assembly-related
assets in southeastern Michigan. KUKA Systems will absorb Utica’s body
structure business that builds car body assembly lines and subsystems -
as well as products like laser welding heads, net form and pierce
systems for high accuracy in joining body sections, standard press room
automation for metal stamping and hang-on technologies for installing
doors, hoods and other parts on assembly lines.

About 300 Utica employees have joined the over 1300-member KUKA Systems
team in southeastern Michigan. No jobs will be eliminated since KUKA
Systems has a considerable order backlog, said Drake, adding: “A major
benefit of the transaction is that it secures a highly skilled and
experienced workforce for us in Michigan at a time when those skills
are becoming harder to find because of shrinkage in the local
industrial base.”

About KUKA Systems:
KUKA Systems North America LLC, a Michigan-based company, is part of
KUKA Systems Group (Augsburg, Germany), a leading global supplier of
flexible manufacturing systems for the automotive, aerospace, railway,
energy and other industries in which highly automated processes and
other assembly line concepts are required. A workforce of over 3,900
around the world works on ideas and solutions for automated production,
and develops innovative products for virtually all tasks in the
industrial processing of metallic and non-metallic materials. The
company’s growing portfolio of products and services is marketed by
subsidiaries and sales offices in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Last
year was one of the most successful ever for KUKA Systems, with
worldwide order intake of EUR1.115 billion (US$1.45 billion), an increase
of 21.7% over 2011.

SOURCE KUKA Systems Corporation North America

Source: PR Newswire