Global Fastener News

1991 FIN – Towne Robinson to Close

September 12
00:00 2010

By Dick Callahan

February 15, 1991 FIN – Towne Robinson, Inc., a long time supplier of fasteners to the automotive industry, has begun taking steps to cease operations at its Dearborn, Michigan facility.

Scheduled for shut-down on June 1, the company will continue supplying customers until they find alternative sources, according to B. Donald Hill, president.

Hill told FIN that the company had previously developed a plan to consolidate, downsize and otherwise maximize efficiencies to meet the general adverse economic conditions of the North American auto industry. However, he said the “sudden drastic – and what appears to be protracted – nature of the recent downturn necessitated the difficult decision to close Towne Robinson.”

The facility in Dearborn currently employs about 70 people with an additional 35 on laid-off status.

According to Hill, Towne Robinson began to experience the negative effect of the softening of the auto-industry economy as early as October of 1989. However, since late in the fourth quarter of 1990, the company’s sales have been at an annual rate of about $8 million, which is short of the $16 million per year rate needed to break even for 1990.

Supplying mainly the automotive as well as other industries, Towne Robinson produces bolts, nuts, screws, and specialty fasteners and cold formed parts.

Founded in 1927 by Mark Towne, the former Towne Robinson Fastener Company originally supplied nut blanks to Federal Screw Works, among other items. Originally located in Detroit, the company moved into larger quarters in Dearborn in 1954.

In 1957 Towne Robinson Fastener Company was acquired by the Keywall family, which took the company through a number of modernizations throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1969 the Keywall family formed Key International, which operated Towne Robinson as a subsidiary. In 1979 Key International was reorganized and became a holding company, operating Towne Robinson as a division.

Key Manufacturing sold a 51% interest in Towne Robinson in March 1988 to Donald Hill and kept the remaining 49%. Since then, the company gained certified minority status and earned top quality ratings from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler.  ©1991/2010 Fastener Industry News


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