On July 22, Tower reported a second-quarter loss of $2.4 million, compared with a $22.9 million profit in the year-ago quarter. Sales totaled $743.2 million for the quarter, down 1 percent from a year earlier.
The company took a $23 million charge during the quarter to cover costs related to closing a plant in Milwaukee that built frames for the Ford Ranger pickup.
Through the first six months of this year, Tower posted a profit of $9.1 million, compared with a $124.4 million loss in the first half of 2002.
Sales were $1.47 billion, up 4 percent from a year earlier.
With $2.1 billion in sales to North America last year, Tower ranks No. 19 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 suppliers to automakers in North America. Ligocki joins Tower from its largest customer. Ford Motor Co. represents 38 percent of the supplier's business, down from 90 percent when Tower was formed.
Tower shocked the industry in December 2002 when it said it would not bid to supply the frame for the next-generation Ford Explorer despite having worked on the project. The decision means Tower is giving up about $200 million in annual revenue, about 10 percent of its North American business.
"The next-generation Explorer had some financial requirements that didn't meet our internal hurdle rates - return on invested capital is a measurement we all get held to," Campbell says. "Our relationship with Ford continues to be what it was."
Brady says another challenge for Ligocki is to increase Tower's business with other vehicle manufacturers. Ford and the Chrysler group account for about 70 percent of Tower's sales. Campbell says he's leaving Tower in good shape, with $1.5 billion in booked business. The company has been building several plants to handle the new work.
Customers for Tower's frames include Ford, for the upcoming Freestyle sport wagon and Five Hundred sedan, and Nissan Motor Co., for the full-sized Pathfinder Armada SUV and Titan pickup.