Fras-le North America Inc., a friction material manufacturer, announced it will begin producing heavy-duty lining at its friction manufacturing facility in Prattville, Ala. This is the first time that Fras-le has produced heavy-duty brake lining in the U.S.

The announcement was made at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW), in Las Vegas, on January 24.

The US $11 million investment will expand the company's capabilities to supply lining to its customer base for commercial vehicle business in North America. The company's expansion will add new equipment to its Prattville facility and will involve hiring nearly 100 employees in 2012 and 2013.

Currently, Fras-le manufactures brake lining in Brazil for global distribution and in China for distribution in Europe and Asia. The addition of brake lining production in the U.S. will increase Fras-le's global capacity significantly. Fras-le currently manufactures disc brake pads at the Prattville facility.

"Our announcement today demonstrates our expanded commitment to the North American market and our desire to grow the business even more," said Daniel Randon, Fras-le CEO and president. "We appreciate all the support we've received from officials in Prattville to help facilitate our company's expansion. We are excited to be a part of bringing new jobs to the area."

Randon cited Mayor Bill Gillespie and the Prattville Industrial Development Board, led by Chairman Richard Williams, for their help in bringing about the facility expansion.

"During these tough economics times, this announcement is certainly a blessing for our community," said Gillespie. "On behalf of the City of Prattville, I applaud Fras-le and their continued growth and expansion. I also want to express my gratitude for their commitment to Prattville. We wish them much continued success in all of their endeavors."

Earlier this week, also at HDAW in Las Vegas, Fras-le S.A. and Meritor Inc. announced the renewal of an exclusive, five-year friction material supply agreement for brake lining for the North American commercial vehicle market. Fras-le and Meritor have enjoyed a successful supply partnership for 15 years, including the co-development of friction materials to address the needs of North American commercial vehicles. 

Manufactured in Brazil, the friction materials are supplied for Meritor production and aftermarket components in North America. In the aftermarket, lined shoes are distributed to customers from Meritor's North American facilities - York, S.C.; Plainfield, Ind.; Brampton, Ontario; and Florence, Ky.

"Fras-le is excited to continue its partnership with Meritor in North America. We are proud that our commitment to being a global leader in brake technology and innovation has helped Meritor become a leader in this market segment," says Zomar Oliveira, Fras-le North America's director of operations.

Fras-le brake pads and linings , known for their quality and performance features, are available in the North American OE and aftermarket, as well as in more than 80 countries. All of the company's friction products are comprised of application specific formulations, are made from top-quality raw materials and are asbestos-free. Applications include a wide variety of on- and off-highway commercial vehicles, trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, dump trucks, light vehicles and other specialty vehicles and equipment. In North America, Fras-le's heavy-duty brake linings  are exclusively distributed by Meritor's Aftermarket group.

For more information about Fras-le, phone: (248) 735-4900, e-mail:, or visit: