Zwick Electrical “Did the consultants come up with anything?” asked Wilton Zwick.
His brother, Carlton, nodded affirmatively. “There are several possible alternatives. In terms of alliances it looks like they have identified two potential partners. Here, take a look for yourself.”
Wilton quickly scanned the report’s front page. “Hmm, Asea Brown Boveri and Siemens?”
Carlton and Wilton Zwick are, respectively, president and vice president of Zwick Electrical Incorporated (ZEI), a privately held company. Carlton joined ZEI in 1983 after earning a marketing degree. After receiving an engineering degree in 1975 Wilton spent 4 years with an electrical-products division of a major firm in Pittsburgh. He then joined ZEI in late 1989.
ZEI began operations in 1952 when Gunther Zwick, Carlton and Wilton’s father, opened for business in Cleveland, Ohio. In the early years ZEI’s product line was limited to electric motors and parts. The company gradually expanded its product line to include power transformers, high-voltage switchgear, and metering devices. By the mid-1960s ZEI had added production facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1978 gaps in ZEI’s product line prompted the elder Zwick to purchase EL Transmission and Power (ELTP), a Memphis-based power transmission equipment company. Although ELTP’s Memphis headquarters was closed, ZEI retained the Memphis distribution center and engineering department. ELTP’s manufacturing plants in Chattanooga (Tennessee), Springfield (Missouri), and Shreveport (Louisiana) continued operations under ZEI.
During the 1980s no further acquisitions were made. The plants in Cincinnati and Chattanooga were significantly expanded to handle ZEI’s increasing business. Minor renovations were made in the Cleveland and Springfield facilities.
Although business took a sharp downturn in the early 1990s ZEI