Industry Reacts to Latest Chapter 11 Filing
January 6, 2010
Yesterday's announcement that International Aluminum had filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy (CLICK
HERE for related story) seemed to remind glass and metal industry
professionals that the "tough times" of 2009 had not been
As Peter John De Gorter, Sr., commented on the USGNN.com message
forum yesterday (CLICK
HERE for more), "Be prepared, there will be more that are
going to file this year." That prediction, when measured alongside
today's forecast from the American Institute of Architects that
nonresidential construction spending may actually decrease 13.4
percent in 2010 (CLICK
HERE for related story), seems telling indeed.
The aluminum industry in particular has had a tough time, or so
Bonnell Aluminum director of sales and marketing Ira Endres said
during a trade show in October 2009. As Endres stated, "The
recession that we're currently in for the aluminum extrusion industry
really started in mid-2006. We started to see the downturn in the
residential markets and, just to give you an idea of how deep it
is, this time around the industry shipments through 2009 as compared
to 2006 are projected to be down about 45 percent; year over year
through August industry shipments are going to be down probably
about 32 percent." (CLICK
HERE and turn to page 64 for related story.)
Other professionals in the aluminum industry are sympathizing with
this announcement as well. "As a former associate of U.S. Aluminum
Corp. at the height of an expansion phase nearly 20 years ago, I
was saddened to hear news of the significant challenges the organization
is now facing," comments Oliver Stepe, senior vice president
of YKK AP America. "This news, in combination with many other
significant events this past year, truly exposes the depth of the
impact that the current business climate has had on our industry.
It further reinforces the importance of a careful and steady hand
in navigating business process and strategy through times of adversity."
Other fabricators continue to hope for the best as the latest bankruptcy
moves through the courts.
"As someone who has worked with International/U.S. Aluminum
on both the residential and commercial sides, I think first of the
people involved. From the plant managers and workers to the sales
guys, this group has always shown a strong work ethic," says
Pete Chojnacki, president of FabTech. "Let's all hope that
bankruptcy can help them move forward."
Chojnacki adds, "On the other hand, I feel for the creditors
and what this does to their financial position. Bottom line, it
is a sign of the tough times."
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