Detroit’s Soave Enterprises has acquired Detroit’s New Center Stamping, a 100-year-old stamping, assembly, and engineering firm in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood (south of New Center).
The acquisition marks Soave’s first venture in manufacturing. Its portfolio includes industrial and environmental services, Great Northern Hydroponics, and real estate developments.
“New Center Stamping holds an important role in Detroit’s automotive heritage,” says Anthony Soave, president and CEO of Soave. “We are happy to continue its legacy in the city and add the company to our growing portfolio.”
New Center Stamping opened in 1919 as Fisher Body Plant 37. Greg Smith acquired the facility in 1992 and remained at its helm until 2018. Under Smith’s leadership, the business evolved from stamping parts to welding, assembly, engineering, and tool and die.
“Partnering with Greg early in this process was essential to ensuring the company’s seamless transition through the acquisition,” says Ed Schwartz, president of Soave Industrial Group. “Soave Enterprises’ longstanding and diverse experience in the automotive industry enhances New Center Stamping’s capability to address opportunities in the next generation of automotive supply.”
Ray Fernandez began serving as president of New Center Stamping last year. He worked as an executive for companies including Delphi, Tranor Industries, and Findlay Industries.
“As I started planning to sell the company, I knew we needed the team and talent in place that could maintain the strong elements of our operations while identifying growth opportunities,” says Smith. “Ray has a proven record of success in growing and improving legacy companies. New Center Stamping has a strong future under his leadership and Soave Enterprises’ ownership.”
New Center Stamping began to diversify its products and services since Fernandez took over. It also has entered the production business and is looking into programs in the defense industry.
The facility encompasses more than 20 acres with a 240,000-square-foot facility at 950 Milwaukee. It has 200 employees, and 70 percent of whom are Detroit residents. The company is expected to double in size over the next couple of years.
Soave’s portfolio of industrial companies includes Ferrous Processing and Trading Co., which buys, processes, and sells scrap metal; Koil, a Detroit-based steel services center; Parts Galore, an aftermarket parts retailer with three metro-Detroit locations; MPS Group, an environmental and industrial services company; and automotive dealerships in the Kansas City market. Soave also builds homes around the country, including the upcoming Elton Park in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.