Michigan company starts producing popular kettle bells


CADILLAC – A global manufacturer relies on Michigan to help manufacture some of its most popular fitness equipment.

When the pandemic hit and gyms closed, many people rushed to get their hands on fitness equipment to work out at home. Articles like kettle bells, from the global fitness manufacturer Rogue Fitness, were a popular article. The demand was so huge that the Ohio-based company needed a strong partner to increase production.

Enter Cadillac Foundry, a newcomer to the fitness scene and already well known for being a major supplier of auto parts.

“Cadillac Casting has a very good reputation in the industry for supplying ductile iron castings,” said Dennis Thornburg, sales manager for Cadillac Casting.

“Rogue was looking for a partner here in the US that they could work with to develop the part quickly with them and launch the part quickly. So we adapted that mold.”

As a number of businesses unfortunately saw their operations slow down during the pandemic, this had the opposite effect on Rogue Fitness and Cadillac Casting. The partnership began in April, and within a month Cadillac Casting was producing serious iron.

“Right now we’ve started making kettle bells. So there are about 12 different variations that we make between 9 and 88 pounds,” Thornburg explained.

“We’re probably going to do, from a kettlebell point of view, probably 159,000 or 160,000 loads per year just at the start, minimum.”

Traditionally, fitness manufacturers have sought to manufacture their parts outside of the United States because it was much cheaper to make. But, Thorburg said the pandemic is helping prove it’s more reliable to stay local.

“When manufacturers start looking at real costs, especially when you look at potential supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, it makes financial sense. Businesses are starting to realize, hey, it’s not such a good idea to shop overseas, let’s start moving that stuff back. “

It also helps prove that Michigan can flex its muscles and attract potential business partners.

“I think it’s a great story, not only for Cadillac Casting, but also for the potential for other companies located in Michigan and the United States to put themselves in a good position to take on this type of work.”

Cadillac Casting plans to expand production to subsequently manufacture Olympic weights.


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