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Saturday, Dec 9, 2023

Consolidation Trims Centric’s Workforce

CWD, doing business as Centric Parts, notified the state’s Employment Development Department it plans to lay off 252 employees working at its 200,000-square-foot warehouse in City of Industry.
The maker of aftermarket brake and chassis parts for passenger, commercial and racing vehicles is shifting consolidating its distribution operations to a facility in Patterson, owned by its sister company, Illinois-based Brake Parts Inc., according to sources familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

The layoffs will be effective May 15. Positions lost will include 180 shipping and receiving material handlers, 15 forklift operators, and seven inventory clerks.
Centric, founded in 2000, also operates a performance brakes brand, StopTech out of a facility in Compton. Its caliper factory in Carson shuttered in 2019, when Centric laid off 286 workers.

Co-founders Dino Crescentini and Dan Lelchuck sold Centric in May 2017 to New York-based Harvest Partners and Audax Private Equity in Boston. The investors then merged it with AP Emissions Technologies in North Carolina and created an umbrella company APC Automotive Technologies. AP Emissions specialized in automotive, light truck and heavy-duty exhaust and emissions products, including catalytic converters and mufflers.

Three years later, in June 2020, APC Automotive and its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, netting a restructuring deal that reduced their balance sheet debt by more than $400 million, according to its former chief executive Tribby Warfield.
Shortly after, in September 2020, APACE Holding Co. acquired AP Emissions, and by December of the same year, Cleveland-based automotive parts company, First Brand Group, acquired Centric.

“The addition of Centric Parts significantly expands our caliper capacity and breadth of catalog, and it positions us as the clear market leader in aftermarket braking,” Guy Andrysick, president of the aftermarket division at First Brands, said in a statement at the time the deal was announced.

First Brand did not provide specifics about the layoffs, but said through a spokesperson that “port congestion and backlogs in Los Angeles were the impetus for shifting … operations to other, less congested ports.”

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