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American Axle earnings get boost from Jeep Cherokee, Ram pickup

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. today reported its strongest quarterly earnings in more than a year, crediting strong sales from the new Jeep Cherokee and Ram pickup.

The axle and components supplier, in a statement, said it recorded net income of $33.6 million in the first quarter on revenue of $858.8 million, compared to income of $7.3 million on revenue of $755.6 million in the same quarter last year.

While General Motors Co. remains American Axle’s largest customer, sales to other automakers increased 53 percent to $287.8 million from $188.1 million during the same quarter last year. Overall sales to non-GM customers represented more than 38 percent of its quarterly revenue.

American Axle’s content-per-vehicle dollar value increased 10 percent to $1,655 from $1,504 in the same quarter in 2013.

In February, California-based Industrial Realty Group LLC closed on the purchase of most of American Axle’s 2.5 million-square-foot former Detroit Manufacturing Complex.

In November, American Axle named local wealth management veteran Sam Valenti III to its board of directors. Valenti filled the seat of former Chairman and CEO Richard E. Dauch, who died in September. Dauch’s son, David C. Dauch, replaced Richard Dauch as chairman of the board.

Valenti is president and CEO of Bloomfield Hills-based Valenti Capital LLC and chairman of World Capital Partners LLC.

You can reach Dustin Walsh at dwalsh@crain.com

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