American Axle Co-Founder, Chairman Dauch Dies

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc.’s co-founder and chairman, Richard Dauch, has died, the company said, without disclosing the cause. He was 71.

Dauch died yesterday, Danielle Landolt, a company spokeswoman, said in an interview.

The executive led an investment group that acquired a division of the predecessor of General Motors Co. in 1994 and led it to an initial public offering in 1999. Dauch was chief executive officer until 2012, when he yielded the post to his son, David Dauch.

American Axle has been trying to diversify its customer base beyond GM while strengthening its balance sheet. The company’s shares have gained 87 percent this year to $20.94. Detroit-based American Axle yesterday reported its second-quarter net income rose more than fivefold to $25.8 million from a year earlier.

Dauch began his auto career in 1964 when he joined GM, according to his American Axle biography. He worked as a manufacturing executive at Volkswagen AG’s U.S. unit and Chrysler Corp. before co-founding the supplier.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.