COVID-19 Update: Mahindra Prevails in FCA Trade Dress Ruling, TriMas Releases Inaugural Sustainability Report, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Dec. 26

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Mahindra Prevails in FCA Trade Dress Ruling
The International Trade Commission has issued its final ruling and determined that Mahindra’s redesigned 2021 ROXOR does not infringe on the “Jeep Trade Dress” claimed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Both companies are based in Auburn Hills.

This ruling follows earlier ITC and Federal District Court rulings that Mahindra did not infringe on any of FCA’s registered trademarks. The company now is permitted to manufacture and distribute the redesigned 2021 ROXOR.

According to Mahindra, the decision validates its redesign of the ROXOR off-road vehicle, “which remains true to its spirit for hard work and adventure.”

“ROXOR was a success from the beginning with off-road enthusiasts and people with active outdoor lifestyles,” says Rick Haas, president and CEO of Mahindra Automotive North America.  “The vehicle has also proved extremely popular with people who want to work with it – they like that it can withstand the rigors of rugged everyday use. This ‘ruggedness’ was at the heart of the redesign as we wanted an aggressive look that reflected just how tough and capable ROXOR is.”

Bloomfield Hills’ TriMas Releases Inaugural Sustainability Report
Bloomfield Hills-based manufacturer TriMas has released its inaugural Sustainability Report that outlines the company’s commitment to responsible environmental, social, and governance practices, and highlights the sustainability initiatives that have been implemented across its global operations.

“Although this is our first report, our commitment to sustainable environmental, social and governance practices has been long-standing at TriMas, as it exemplifies our core values of integrity and respect for the environment, the health, safety and well-being of our employees, and the communities in which we operate,” says Thomas Amato, president and CEO of TriMas. “We have been focused on operating in a socially responsible, safe, and sustainable manner, and are pleased to be enhancing our transparency on these important initiatives.”

TriMas is a global manufacturer and a provider of products for customers primarily in the consumer products, aerospace and industrial markets, with approximately 3,500 dedicated employees in 11 countries.

Among the topics covered in the report are:

  • Diversity
  • Growth strategy
  • Board and management oversight
  • Risk management
  • Ethics

“With this report, we aim to provide our stakeholders a better understanding of our focus on and plans for continued improvement of our ESG programs,” Amato continues. “We believe our commitment to ESG matters is integral to achieving lasting success, and we will continue to improve and further integrate sustainability elements into our long-term business strategy, providing additional value for our shareholders, customers, employees and the communities where we operate.”

The full report can be viewed here.

Lawrence Tech Gets Maximum 10-year Re-accreditation
Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has received the maximum 10-year re-accreditation for its academic programs from the Higher Learning Commission, the nation’s foremost accreditation body for colleges and universities.

The final report from a seven-member outside peer review team mentioned the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, a “rigorous” ongoing strategic planning progress, an Academic Achievement Center that helps students adjust to college-level work, and the Marburger STEM Center, LTU’s clearinghouse for K-12 education outreach in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as LTU strengths.

LTU was also one of the first universities in the nation to be judged on new HLC criteria that went into effect Sept. 1, 2020.

“This affirmation from the Higher Learning Commission validates the hard work of our faculty and staff developing programs that assure tremendous professional success by our graduates who achieve salaries in the upper 11 percent of all colleges and universities,” says Virinder Moudgil, president of LTU.

The commission found that LTU’s “mission demonstrates commitment to the public good” and promotes civic engagement, and that the university “engages with its external constituencies and responds to their needs as its mission and capacity allow.” Also mentioned was the Centrepolis Accelerator, a manufacturing business incubator LTU established on campus in 2019 with the city of Southfield.

The report also found that LTU fostered diversity and inclusion through The King-Chavez-Parks initiative to develop “programs that will increase the number of at-risk students obtaining their bachelor’s degree,” as well as a 2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force report that describes campus initiatives to ensure the institution continues to progress in fostering a climate of respect among all students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Mill Point Capital Completes Sale of Huntington Solutions
South Carolina-based Mill Point Capital has sold its interest in Huntington Solutions, part of which is Huntington Foam Corp. in Greenville, northeast of Grand Rapids. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Huntington Solutions – a provider of shape-molded packaging solutions made from expanded polystyrene, expanded polypropylene, and other advanced resins – has experienced accelerated success, including its expansion into the high-growth cold chain market, since its acquisition by Mill Point Capital in 2016.

“We are very proud of what we accomplished together with the Huntington team over the last few years,” says Dustin Smith, a partner of Mill Point Capital. “Since the initial transaction in 2016, Huntington has evolved into a leading player in the foam packaging industry and is poised to benefit from continued strong trends in cold chain packaging.”

Jim Hamelink, chairman of Huntington, says, “The Huntington team has been highly successful in executing upon our value creation plan, positioning the company for long-term growth and market expansion.”