Alternative asset manager the Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) has taken over AxleTech International, a parts manufacturer for specialty vehicles, for the second time.

Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, AxleTech is an engineer of axles, braking products, driveline components and suspension products for commercial trucks, military cars and off-highway transportation systems used in construction, forestry, mining and agriculture. The company was sold by General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). The Charlotte, North Carolina-based manufacturer has owned AxleTech since 2008 when Carlyle agreed to put it up for auction. Since then, AxleTech has grown to employ more than 1,000 workers. Its manufacturing facilities are located in three U.S. cities, including Detroit, Chicago and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. AxleTech has also set up shop abroad in St. Etienne, France and Osasco, Brazil.

Mary Petrovich, CEO of AxleTech from 2002-2011, is set to return to the company as executive chairman. Joe Mejaly, who joined AxleTech in May as general manager, will become CEO under Carlyle’s ownership.

Equity capital for the transaction came from Carlyle Equity Opportunity Fund, a $1.1 billion fund that makes control and minority investments in middle-market companies. The firm tapped the fund in 2014 when it purchased Eci Software Solutions for an undisclosed amount.

Sales of automobiles have increased over the world, fueling investments in a wide range of businesses related to autos. For more, see 5 Buyers Find New Customers Abroad.

Recent car parts transactions include Clearlake Capital Group's acquisition of Sage Automotive Interiors in October, and Shiloh Industries Inc.'s (Nasdaq: SHLO) deal for Radar Industries, also in October.

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