PDA Q&A: Lorron James

The E-Interview, CEO, James Group, Detroit

Lorron James headshot DB: Where are you?
LJ: In Scottsdale. I’m a graduate of Arizona State University, and I’m here working remotely on this trip and nurturing my relationships with the W.P. Carey School of Business. Our company does assembly and logistics work with the global automotive industry, and we’re looking to expand our real estate and geographic footprint more in the southeast, West Coast, and Mexico.

DB: How’s it going?
LJ: Very well. Last year we launched a new company (in Detroit), Five Crowns Trucking, where we do dedicated shuttling of auto parts across short distances. We just earned a contract from Spencer/Butcher Group, which is a Tier 1 to FCA, and we’re the Tier 2. We’ll be transporting truck frames for FCA between their Jefferson North Assembly Plant (in Detroit) and Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. Five Crowns helps round out our logistics and assembly work.

DB: What’s going on in your global markets?
LJ: We export Ford parts to 16 different countries and 25 different shipping destinations. Those parts go on Ford vehicles in Belgium, China, and other markets. We consolidate the parts and ship them from our Renaissance Global Logistics facility in Detroit, where we have our headquarters. Those parts are shipped via trucks, rail, and, at times, via air freight.

DB: Where else are you growing?
LJ: Our Magnolia Automotive Services work is doing well. We do tire and wheel assembly for Toyota in Mississippi, and for a Toyota and Mazda joint venture in Huntsville, Ala. The Alabama facility is the largest automotive manufacturing plant in North America, and we work on the Toyota Corolla. There’s a lot of growth in front of us