Bill Grede was only 23 and a World War I veteran when he purchased the Liberty Foundry in Wauwatosa, Wis., near Milwaukee, in 1920. He renamed it Grede Foundries Inc. and retained its Liberty Bell logo – fitting because in U.S. history the bell is an iron casting icon.
Grede (pronounced gray-dee) died at age 92 in 1989, but his name lives on as Grede Holdings LLC, which this year is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its founding. “Bill Grede had a vision for success built on a foundation of integrity,” says Doug Grimm, Grede Holdings’ chairman, president and CEO. “He was a giant in the castings industry and we’re proud to carry on his legacy. I’m equally proud of all Grede employees who have worked hard over the years to help us gain a solid reputation in the industry and ensure our success.”
Privately-held Grede Holdings LLC was created last February when Grede Foundries, Inc. and Citation Corp. combined their assets to form one of the world’s largest producers of ductile, gray and silicon moly castings for a diverse list of global customers. Grede’s products are used within various industries including agriculture, construction, heavy-duty trucks, light duty vehicles, railroads, power transmission, mining and wind energy. Among its customers are numerous Fortune 500 companies.
The combined company’s annual revenues are forecast to total $720 million in 2010, and it employs 3,500 people. From a single foundry in 1920, Grede Holdings now operates 13 foundries and two machining facilities in six states and has capacity to produce 575,000 tons of ferrous castings annually.
Grede manufactures parts as small as one pound and up to 2,000 pounds – a list that includes valve bodies, pump housings, engine manifolds, natural gas valves, turbo housings, axle components, steering knuckles and control arms. Some of these parts are produced using lost foam casting technology, in which Grede is the world market leader. A full-service supplier with total design, engineering, testing and manufacturing capabilities, Grede is also capable of machining aluminum, iron and steel components.
“We’ve come a long way through some difficult times and we’re optimistic about the future,” says Grimm. “I think Bill Grede would be pleased with our progress.”
About Grede Holdings LLC
Grede Holdings LLC was formed in 2010 through the combination of assets of the former Grede Foundries, Inc. with Citation Corporation. The Grede Holdings LLC legacy dates back to 1920, when William J. Grede founded Grede Foundries, Inc. with an iron foundry in Wauwatosa, Wis. Privately-held with headquarters in Novi, Mich., the company specializes in high quality ductile, gray and specialty iron castings, including lost foam and high silicon molybdenum applications. Grede Holdings LLC operates 13 foundries and two machining operations in the United States serving the Transportation and Industrial markets globally.