As the economic recovery continues to spread through industries and communities, one family of companies led by a Native American WBE has leveraged the focus and discipline necessary to ride out the recession into powerful tools for growth and expansion.
The Rush Group family of companies was founded and is led by Andra M. Rush, whose entrepreneurial spirit led her to leave her nursing career behind and start a trucking company in 1984 with just three used trucks. Today, Rush Group includes two established companies in Dakkota Integrated Systems and Rush Trucking, as well as a new addition in Detroit Manufacturing Systems. All three companies are growing and evolving, while changing within their industries and expanding into new opportunities — primed for sustainable growth.
Dakkota Integrated Systems manages the complete assembly and sequencing of integrated automotive interiors with operations in Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and Ontario, Canada. In 2013, the company reached a milestone when the Chrysler Group named Dakkota its Supplier of the Year for Quality, as well as for implementation of Chrysler World Class Manufacturing program. The quality award is especially meaningful as every one of Chrysler’s Tier I suppliers were in competition for the recognition. In 2012, Dakkota also expanded into a new business line by launching Dakkota Lighting Technologies through strategic acquisitions, positioning the company for growth in the rapidly-expanding automotive lighting solution marketplace.
Rush Trucking provides dedicated, general, expedited and pop-up trucking services to Fortune 100 companies in the U.S. and Canada. It operates short-haul, long-haul and just-in-time truckload and milk-run services for its customers. In 2013, Rush began to grow again alongside the resurgent automotive industry, but also expanded into diversified industries and capabilities to add even more sustainable business to its bottom line. As the trucking industry changes, Rush has been a leader in attracting a diverse driver base, including women and men who are career transitioning or to whom modern short-haul trucking lanes that send drivers home each night are more attractive than traditional long-haul, overnight routes.
But the biggest change in the Rush Group family in 2012 was the founding of DMS as a joint venture between Rush Group Ltd LLC and French auto supplier Faurecia. DMS develops state-of-the-art automotive interior systems, assembling and manufacturing injection-molded interior trim components. The company launched with lines assembling instrument panels for some of Ford Motor Co.’s most important and profitable vehicles. Located within the Gateway Industrial Center, DMS is one of the largest creators of new manufacturing jobs in the City of Detroit in recent years – hiring more than 800 employees within its first year of operation.