James K. Ashford

Distinguished Service Citation Award 1988

James K. Ashford was president and chief executive officer of Tenneco’s parent company, JI Case Company. Ashford helped form Tenneco Automotive when he played a key role in acquiring Monroe Auto Equipment Co., the Michigan-based manufacturer of shock absorbers. He later expanded Speedy Muffler King and acquired Car-X, a Midwest-based muffler shop chain, which further strengthened Tenneco’s retail operations.

Ashford also positioned Tenneco Automotive to take a more active role in supplying original equipment manufacturers. He conceived of “focus plants” which provide exhaust systems to individual original-equipment manufacturers on a just-in-time basis.

 

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