DETROIT — Insert injection molder Pixley Richards Inc. is taking its name and products overseas, with its purchase of French molder Prodi-Inject sarl.
The newly renamed PRI France of Dieuze will take on the kind of precision molding that Pixley Richards now specializes in for the North American market and will give the Plymouth, Mass.-based company a new technology it can import from Europe.
"We will be offering our expertise in insert and precision molding to our customer base operating over there," said President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Callahan.
"PRI France is ideally positioned to serve customers in the entire European Union."
Pixley Richards announced its acquisition March 7 during the Society of Automotive Engineers 2001 World Congress in Detroit. Callahan is not releasing any details of the deal but noted it will push his company's sales up to about $60 million annually from about $40 million.
The company had been seeking a way to supply customers in Europe with the precision parts often used for electronic connections, including Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. and Visteon Corp. Both of those firms also are looking at opportunities to expand overseas.
Prodi-Inject not only had the equipment and location Pixley Richards wanted, Callahan said, it also has a proprietary injection molding process used to make speaker grilles for auto interiors, with customers including Renault V.I., PSA Peugeot Citroen Group, Saab Automobile AB and General Motors Corp.'s Opel division.
"We will be bringing that very unique program over here," Callahan said. "That was part of our strategy."
The speaker program will head to Pixley Richard's Wyoming, Mich., facility, which opened last year with 10 presses. The site already had seven additional 165-ton presses set for installation, noted Richard J. LaViolette, director of sales and marketing.
The company purchased the presses for a new undisclosed contract for the auto industry, but that work will not begin until 2001.
The grille program coming from the new French division will allow the company to bring that equipment into full use even earlier.
Pixley is not finished with its expansion plans, Callahan noted. The company is exploring ways to expand into Mexico to add to its geographic reach.
"For us, it's a very exciting time," LaViolette said.