Photo Gallery | First Coast Gears: Why Shahid Khan’s Flex-N-Gate products are probably in your driveway
By now just about everyone knows how the man who is buying the Jaguars made his fortune. But what many may not realize is just how important Shahid Khan’s Flex-N-Gate business is to car fans. His company’s products are literally parked in driveways across the First Coast.
The fascia and trim components on many of today’s vehicle lines were developed by Flex-N-Gate. The company reports it currently has more than 169 injection molding presses. The Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Camaro (both pictured) are just two examples of Flex-N-Gate’s contributions to bumper manufacturing.
The Urbana, Ill. company does everything from prototyping to engineering of lighting, metals, plastics and more.
Flex-N-Gate’s 13 North America manufacturing facilities are located close to automotive assembly plants to supply “Immediate Pay as Built” and “Future Pay as Built” scheduling options, according to the company’s website. That’s a fancy way of saying inventory is kept tight to maximize efficiency and speed.
Khan’s company is also well known in the industry for quality. In 2010 alone, Flex-N-Gate won the Nissan Quality Award, Honda Delivery Award, Honda Supplier Performance Award, the Subaru Supplier Excellence Award and others.
One of Flex-N-Gate’s innovations is the one-piece deep draw metal bumper that was introduced in 1968. Deep drawing is a sheet metal forming process. Flex-N-Gate estimates that today it manufactures more than 84% of all metal bumpers for trucks and SUV’s in North America.
Another big area for the company is lighting. The current product line includes fog lamps, interior lighting, license lamps, reflectors side markers and tail lamps. Like bumpers, the lighting division has a long history. It’s been in the signal lighting business since 1965. Today the company employs more than 12,450 people with 50 manufacturing and nine development plants in the U.S. and several other countries.
With so many products and obvious clout with the auto manufacturers, wouldn’t it be cool if Khan contributed to some sort of Jacksonville Jaguars limited-edition vehicle down the road? Personally, I’m rooting for a next-generation custom Jaguars edition Corvette!
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