Automotive Performance Industries Revs Up Michigan's Specialty-Vehicle Business

API Moves Into New Facility and Sets Stage For Partner Companies To Expand.

tTROY — Automotive Performance Industries LLC (API) and its partner companies announced today that they expect to bring 300 new jobs to southeastern Michigan by the end of 2014 as they expand a specialty-vehicle business.

t"Automotive Performance Industries has set the stage for our partner companies to expand and hire more people and to gain new contracts," said Karl Storrie, API president and the former president and CEO of Dura Automotive Systems. "As a result of the recent downturn, a lot of these companies went out of business. We are consolidating companies to gain synergies and to provide them with the facilities to bid on contracts they could not bid on before because they lacked the factory space."

tIn mid-June, API moved into a facility with deep automotive roots formerly known as the "Saleen building." The site was once used to build the Ford GT and Saleen Mustang and to paint Chrysler's Viper sports car. The 183,000-square-foot facility, which is located at 1225 E. Maple Road, features a $7-million specialized paint system known as "High-Bake."

tThe High-Bake system operates at temperatures up to 325-degrees Fahrenheit and provides an OEM with a high-quality paint surface far beyond the capabilities of most factory paint shops.

tTwo anchor companies, Alternative Automotive Technologies and Classic Design Concepts, are now operating in the new API facility.

tAlternative Automotive Technologies (AAT), a contract manufacturer, is at work modifying the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro into a 700-horsepower $100,000 specialty vehicle.  AAT is owned by Bryan Chambers, who formerly worked at Saleen Performance and supplier MSX.

tThe second anchor tenant, Classic Design Concepts (CDC), is a premier manufacturer of automotive parts for American performance cars.  CDC is the supplier for well-known projects such as Mach1, Lincoln LS-E, and Shelby GT350. George Huisman is the founder and CEO of Classic Design Concepts.

t"Individual partner companies will operate under the API banner, but will maintain their company and product identities," Storrie said.