Anyone who knows even a little bit (like I do) about American Specialty Cars is usually fascinated. After all, this is the company behind the Buick
GNX, but it's also the company behind the Chevy SSR
. Unfortunately, the latter vehicle was the one that did ASC in. According to Automotive News, ASC invested $250 million in its operation to produce the SSR
truck for General Motors
in 2001 along with three other unspecifed vehicles. The three unnamed vehicles were cancelled and, as we all know, the SSR didn't fare so well in the marketplace. Its production was continually decreased and was eventually cancelled early, leaving ASC out in the lurch. Couple that fiasco with Dodge
putting the Viper
, another car that uses parts from ASC, on hiatus for a year around the same time, and the writing on the wall became clear. All of this led to last Wednesday, when ASC officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Detroit.
ASC began looking for a buyer, however, in 2005 when it was just struggling to keep its doors open after closing four plants and reducing its workforce from 1,250 people to just 252. It's found one, fortunately, in Hancock Park Associates, a private equity firm in L.A. Hancock will reportedly take over ASC's sunroof and design businesses, which means that with any luck, this historically significant supplier will still be around in one form or another.
[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]