Solid Success Story

In today’s column, I’d like to talk about an innovative American company that’s making a product that people really like. It’s a luxury product that not everyone can afford, but I know some people with this luxury item and they would never be without it.

What I’m talking about is cooling seats. That’s right–car seats that actually cool your back while you’re driving. It sounds like a funny option for a car, but even my father has it on his car and he swears it’s one of the best options available.

The company that makes cooling car seats is Amerigon Inc. (NASDAQ/SC/ARGN). This small-cap company trades for a reasonable valuation on the stock market and it recently reported record second quarter financial results.

Founded in 1991 and based in Dearborn, Michigan, Amerigon’s main product offering is called the “Climate Control Seat” or CCS. The equipment uses a proprietary thermoelectric device which provides heating and cooling for automotive seat occupants. The company is also developing other applications based on this technology.

According to the company, its revenues for the most recent second quarter were $12.4 million, up substantially from comparable revenues of $8.6 million generated in the second quarter of 2005.

The company’s revenue growth was mainly due to higher volume shipments of the company’s CCS system in the Lincoln Zephyr, Buick Lucerne, and the redesigned Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade EXT, and Escalade ESV. The company’s average selling prices increased during the latest quarter, and its net income for the quarter was $1.3 million, as compared to $454,000 in the second quarter of 2005.

Not only does Amerigon trade for a reasonable valuation on the stock market, I think it makes for an attractive takeover candidate. A large auto parts company could easily purchase this company outright.

In any case, Amerigon is a solid success story in the auto supply business–a business that’s been hit hard over the last few years.