DETROIT -- Louis Borick, the founding chairman of aluminum wheels manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc., died Monday at age 87.
Borick was born in St. Paul, Minn. He founded Superior in 1957 as a supplier of bug deflectors, overload springs and wheels. In 1972, Ford executives traveled to Van Nuys, Calif. -- where the supplier is headquartered -- seeking a supplier of wheels for the Mustang. That would become Superior's first auto contract.
Borick was CEO of the company until Jan. 1, 2005, when he appointed his son, Steven, to take over. Steven also took over as chairman of Superior's board of directors in May 2007 while Louis maintained a nonexecutive position of founding chairman, senior adviser and director of the board.
A statement by the company said Borick was "known for his integrity and focus on constantly adding value to the products the company produced."
Reports by Automotive News said Borick valued controlled costs and investment in new technology for a competitive advantage. He also had a strong fear of debt.
"We have to make enough to reward our shareholders and continue the growth pattern of our company," Borick said in 2001. "A lot of companies made acquisitions they shouldn't have and are in deep financial trouble."
Borick listened closely to his customers and spent heavily for casting and machining technology when it gave him an edge, cutting costs in other areas. He was known for sleeping in $2-a-night YMCA rooms while on business travel at times.
Memorial services for Borick were scheduled for today at Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills, Calif. Flowers and donations may be sent to: Jewish Home, 7150 Tampa Ave., Reseda, Calif., 91335