DETROIT - Collins and Aikman CEO Tom Evans has sold his vision to bankers, investors and analysts.
He has recruited executives from four companies who have agreed to lead a revamped Collins and Aikman Corp. with the addition of Textron Automotive Co. Inc.'s trim division, a deal completed last year that doubled the company's size.
But can Evans sell the strategy to die changers Daren Rupert and Lucy Blankenship, whose plant has gone from ownership under Charles Becker to Johnson Controls Inc., back to Becker, then to Collins and Aikman, now led by management from the former Textron group?
For Evans and the rest of Collins and Aikman management, Rupert, Blankenship and their co-workers are at the center of a massive overhaul of the company as it shakes off its status as a supplier also-ran into a leader. Evans said, "The harder part is making sure you can execute everything and deliver and keep everything marching and coordinated with no surprises." That is a game Evans knows he cannot afford to lose.
"It's all-important," he said during a videoconference to employees of Collins and Aikman just after the company completed its Textron Automotive purchase.
For a company that spent more than a year preparing for its acquisition binge and spent almost another full year making acquisitions, crunch time has just begun.
"The easiest part is getting excited about the acquisition and what it theoretically can mean and getting it financed," Evans said.