Absolute Haitian enjoyed its best year ever in 2012, almost doubling total sales bookings over 2011, with much of the growth coming from a resurgent automotive market, particularly some first-time sales into transplant automotive OEM suppliers.
"Last year the biggest driver for us was automotive," Glenn Frohring, Absolute Haitian president, told PlasticsToday. "The nice thing is we were able to establish some strong business from Japanese transplant accounts. That particular segment of our customer base was the toughest nut to crack."
Frohring said two issues helped his company win the new business: longer lead times for competitive machine suppliers and growing familiarity, and trust, of Haitian technology.
|Absolute Haitian's new Parma, OH technical center will celebrate a grand opening at a May 9 open house.|
"I think all the manufacturers were close to capacity, or leads times were stretched far out, past acceptable stages or time periods, so Haitian, with its capacity, gave us an opportunity to be able to offer machine deliveries sometimes 20 weeks quicker than a competitive company," Frohring said.
As the market recovered and companies that had put off investments needed to expand capacity fast, Haitian machines became a palatable option.
"Today, Haitian is well established," Frohring said, "maybe five years ago, it was tough to break into these accounts, but now some of these big companies have had experience with our machines, and they're able to step back and look at the performance and say, 'There's no reason we can't use Haitian.'"
Record revenue reinvested
The increased business has meant an increased reinvestment in the company, Frohring said, coming in the form of people and infrastructure, with 10 to 12 direct employees hired, plus additional contract service and sales representatives, as well as the purchase of a new building in the Cleveland area.
The 10,000-sq-ft structure was taken over last spring, and since then, the interior has been refurbished, including office space, and the building's utilities have been upgraded, so the site can run machines for mold trials, training, and more. Machines
and spare parts are already being stocked there. Also ordered but not yet delivered, the building upgrades include a "Smart Board" for the training area, where users can move information around on the screen with their hands.
The new Parma, OH tech center, and second generation Mars Series injection molding machine, will be on display at a recently announced open house. Running from 11 am to 6 pm on May 9, the event will include a plastics industry overview from Haitian Chief Strategy Officer Helmar Franz. Absolute Haitian will also showcase the new second generation Mars Series at Plast-Ex (May 14-16, 2013; Toronto Congress Center; Toronto, ON) at booth 2325.
Export markets buoy Haitian in tough year for Chinese molding
Absolute Haitian Corp. (Worcester, MA) is the exclusive sales and service agent for China's Haitian Injection Molding Machinery in the U.S. and Canada. Earlier this month, Haitian reported full-year 2012 results. Despite what the company called "significant losses in the Asian machinery industry", Haitian still sold 22,000 injection molding machines last year, generating total revenues of 6.3 billion RMB ($1.008 billion).
Zhang Jianming, executive director and CEO of Haitian International, said the second half introduction of the newest Mars, Venus, and Jupiter machine series boosted exports, which offset issues in the Chinese market. "The continuing precarious domestic market, and a wait-and-see attitude due to the political changes, held back capital spending by Chinese molders," Jianming said in the release.