TRENTON, N.J.-Hutchinson Industries Inc. has leased two buildings in Trenton, where it plans to produce two new product lines: rubber tire liners and custom-molded auto parts. The expansion projects will quadruple the company's work force and double its sales, according to President Pascal Seradarian, who declined to reveal the amount of the investment.
Hutchinson Industries will manufacture its new family of tire liners for construction and mining vehicles at the larger newly leased building, which totals 60,000 square feet. Prototypes of industrial tire cores were a big hit with customers because the liners are reusable, repairable and recyclable, Mr. Seradarian said.
The rubber tire liners eventually will replace foam-filled polyurethane tire cores that currently dominate the market, he said. ``Our rubber liners may cost twice as much, but they last up to 10 times longer.''
The tire liner operation began trial production runs in August with a staff of 10 and eventually will increase production to three shifts totaling about 140 people, he said. Prototypes of the liners exceeded $1 million in sales, and Mr. Seradarian expects the business to increase Hutchinson Industries' annual sales of $17 million by more than $20 million.
``The skid steer market uses 850,000 tires a year,'' he said. ``If we even capture 5 percent of this market, our (annual tire liner) sales would exceed $10 million. And that's just one market.''
The second building is 16,000 square feet and will employ 50 to 80 people custom-molding parts for the industrial hydraulics and automotive sectors. Sales of this unit are expected to reach $10 million, he said.
Before embarking on the projects, the company's mainstay was in rubber bead locks and bulletproof solid tire inserts for the commercial and military markets. Mr. Seradarian estimates that within five years, Hutchinson Industries could post in excess of $50 million in sales, with more than 60 percent of this revenue derived from new products manufactured at the two factories.
A subsidiary of French conglomerate Hutchinson S.A., Hutchinson Industries employs about 70 at two other leased Trenton facilities. ``We prefer to put our money into machinery, rather than buildings,'' he said.