James Group company to open Wixom warehouse for General Motors parts – Crain’s Detroit Business
Renaissance Global Logistics plans to open the warehouse by November, said Lorron James, CEO of James Group, who runs the business alongside his brother John James, president of James Group and a Republican candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 10th District.
The deal represents the largest contiguous space operated by the minority-owned logistics supplier, according to its CEO. It is also the largest industrial lease signed in the Detroit market this year, according to CoStar Group Inc.
“It’s a very important piece of our growth strategy,” James said in an interview with Crain’s. “What we’re basically trying to do is, we don’t want to be an a la carte supplier to our customer. We want to be more full service.”
Renaissance Global will occupy Building A at the Wixom Assembly Park, which Flint Development is building at the former Ford Wixom Assembly Plant at I-96 and Wixom Road. The other completed building is occupied by Wayfair and Advanced Nutrients.
Renaissance Global will store a wide variety of production and aftermarket parts for GM at its new warehouse, equipped with 160 dock doors and four drive-in doors. James said the automaker needed more space to store inventory that it could have on hand in the event of a parts shortage or supply chain emergency, which have happened frequently in the industry over the last couple of years.
James declined to say how much money the company is investing in the warehouse.
“We’re basically helping GM keep their supply chain afloat without any interruption,” James said. “The supplier risk business, when times are bad, that piece of business is actually pretty solid. The volume has been flexed up and down.”
James Group, whose core business is warehousing and logistics, saw revenue of $138 million last year, a nearly 20 percent year-over-year jump. James said he anticipates double-digit percentage growth this year.
In December, Renaissance Global expanded its warehousing space in Romulus by nearly half to 803,000 square feet, according to the company.
For the latest warehouse deal, Mark Long, Dan Labes and David Giltner of Newmark represented Flint Development, while Greg Bockart of Savills represented Renaissance Global.
In addition to warehousing for GM, the company does export consolidation for Ford Motor Co. and short-haul shuttling for Stellantis NV. It also runs Magnolia Automotive Services LLC, a joint venture with Toyota Tsusho America that does sub-assembly, inventory management and parts sequencing for Toyota and Mazda in Huntsville, Ala., and Tupelo, Miss.
“I see GM maybe overtaking the value of what we have with Ford, which is good news,” James said. “I think all of our customers want to know that we’re growing across different supply bases. Customers don’t want any of their suppliers to be so heavily reliant on them from a revenue standpoint.”
The company is also looking to expand its offerings and is open to other joint ventures with automakers and suppliers, James added.
“We want to offer warehousing and logistics, we want to offer freight forwarding, we want to offer short-haul shuttling, we want to offer as many parts of the supply chain as possible,” he said. “We’re trying our best to be as close to full service as possible.”