DETROIT - Becker Group, a family-owned auto supplier, boldly tried to keep pace with the giants. In the end, it could not.
Charles Becker's father founded a suburban Detroit tool shop 44 years ago. Now Becker has decided to sell the business to Johnson Controls Inc. for about $600 million.
In 1996, Becker purchased Germany's Happich Fibrit GmbH, a company nearly twice its size, in an effort to compete with Johnson Controls, Lear and Magna.
But in the end, it was too much. Becker Group, Europe's second-largest producer of interior trim, became a plum for Johnson Controls.