American Axle & Mfg. Inc. officially opens its new $40 million 250,000 sq.-ft. (23,225 sq.-m) headquarters in Detroit with a ceremony that includes city and state dignitaries.

The 7-story headquarters is directly next door to AAM's Detroit Gear & Axle manufacturing plant and is located on a former brownfield site. Staff began occupying the new building in July 2003.

American Axle's journey to prosperity has been long and difficult. Company co-founder and CEO Richard E. Dauch, along with two investors, purchased the five aging axle plants from General Motors Corp. in 1994, going public in 1999.

The supplier, which once had some of the most dangerous and out-of-date facilities in the auto industry, today is being hailed as a success story by industry watchers and analysts, who regard the company as one of the most profitable parts suppliers in the industry.

AAM recently reported record second-quarter earnings of $55.3 million.