USA Report - Midwest Edition

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Sasser gains steam thanks to innovations founded on tradition

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 February, 2016, 4:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2016, 5:09pm

With roots dating back to 1928, Chicago-based Sasser Family Holdings has evolved from a small railcar parts business founded on the cusp of the Great Depression into a global transport asset services and management company operating through subsidiaries.

Amid the ever-changing railroad industry and unsettling economic times, Sasser Family Holdings has sustained growth by holding tight to its strong set of family values centred on integrity, respect, teamwork and adding value. The multigenerational family business has set a proven track record of delivering innovative and visionary services complemented by outstanding customer support.

"The stability of family ownership has kept the company strong in its 88 years of operations," says chairman and CEO Fred Sasser, who is also the grandson and namesake of the company's legendary founder. "This has allowed us to take a long-term view - investing in new markets and lasting customer relationships."

Governed by third- and fourth-generation Sasser family members, the company's core businesses of independent railcar leasing, repair and maintenance - through subsidiary Chicago Freight Car Leasing - and vehicle lease financing and fleet management, through Union Leasing, continue to flourish.

These businesses are operating in North America. CF Asia-Pacific is the company's first overseas operation, which was incorporated in 1998. The subsidiary stands today as a fully integrated provider of tailored locomotive and rolling stock leasing solutions, wagon repair and maintenance to Australia's rail operators and shippers.

Through NxGen Rail, Sasser Family Holdings is set to revolutionise railroad maintenance systems and procedures around the globe. NxGen's NxTrack platform, which is undergoing testing, is designed to perform multiple inspection services at line speed.

In 2014, Sasser Family Holdings officially launched Xced Aviation Services. The aviation ground support equipment finance and asset management subsidiary is a natural extension of the company's core strength.

"We continue to look for ways to grow our family companies, seeking complementary businesses that will add value and help us stay relevant," Sasser says.

Sasser Family Holdings is keeping it sights on Asia, seeing that the massive growth of air travel in the region opens opportunities for its aviation services business. The company is also considering extending the operations of CF Asia-Pacific beyond Australia and into the larger Asia-Pacific market.

"What we offer is unparallelled industry expertise - with our in-depth knowledge and experience in sourcing, maintaining and managing railroad and aviation ground support equipment," Sasser says.

"We look forward to entering Asian markets that need our high-service touch, and we realise that finding like-minded partners is key for the success of such a venture."

Sasser Family Holdings