Manufacturing and Technology

Auto supplier turns Toyota Highlander

December 13, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Auto supplier turns Toyota Highlander
The 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited. Photo via fb.com

Snazzy wheels and matching roof racks built by a local auto supplier are on the 2014 Toyota Highlander mid-size SUV truck.

The parts are made by Lacks Wheel Trim Systems, a division of Lacks Enterprises, Inc. of Grand Rapids.

Chrome finish

The Lacks Chromtec aluminum wheels are manufactured and tested in Grand Rapids and are “highly engineered, lightweight, composite wheel technology that creates an extraordinarily durable and high-performing chrome-clad aluminum wheel, built for both city driving and the harsh conditions in which light-duty trucks can operate,” according to a Lacks announcement.

Both the Chromtec wheels and roof rack rails are provided in the Lacks Enterprises Iridium chrome finish.

Lacks said the 2014 Toyota Highlander is one of Toyota’s four market segment leading mid-size SUVs, with Highlander considered “the ultimate mid-size crossover SUV.”

“Lacks Enterprises is pleased to partner with Toyota in offering our Chromtec aluminum wheels and roof rack components on this important vehicle launch,” said Mike Dorney, director of new business development, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems. “Our Iridium chrome finishes on the wheels and roof rack rails provide Toyota owners with a highly engineered and beautiful solution, complementing Highlander’s strong exterior styling lines.”

The Lacks Wheel Trim division also produces wheels with its Spinelle and Selective-Spinelle metal finish.

Toyota

Toyota has had operations in the U.S. since 1957 and has 10 manufacturing plants here, employing more than 31,000.

Toyota buys more than $27.5 billion worth of parts, materials, goods and services from U.S. suppliers each year.

OEM supplier

In addition to Toyota, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems has established “long-term relationships” with a number of automakers: Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen.

Lacks Enterprises, a privately held corporation formed in 1961, employs about 2,800 people at 18 plants in greater Grand Rapids.

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