Hudson Color Concentrates and its Midwest Color subsidiary are expanding their Mexican operations, hiring more than 100 people and adding nine sales, service and distribution centers across the country.
``We had a five-year plan, but we're way ahead of schedule,'' said Dave Boudreau, vice president of sales and marketing at Hudson Color by telephone.
The regional expansion has entered only its third year, but tremendous growth in business from existing and new customers has put the firm on the fast track.
During the past six months, Hudson Color has added and trained 10 salespeople for Mexico. Now, 11 salespeople focus on the country. Mexican operations are based out of Garza Garcia.
Sales, service or distribution centers are open or will open by May 30 in Tijuana, Chihuahua, Juarez, Abregon, Reynosa, Monterrey, Saltillo, Guadalajara and Mexico City. Each will be staffed with three to four people, putting the total number of employees in the country at about 100.
Two Texas distribution sites - in El Paso and McAllen - serve the Mexican market, Boudreau said. Both have opened in the past five months.
Hudson Color is based in Leominster, but also owns a facility in Hudson, N.H., and the Midwest Color plant in Niles, Ill. Overall, the firm runs 16 lines, along with four laboratory lines. The business makes mainly custom color and additive concentrates.
The firm's growth is spreading among the industries it serves - appliances, wire and cable, industrial, personal care, and automotive, which it entered nine months ago, Boudreau said.
Sales grew 12 percent a year ago, but Hudson is on target for 22-25 percent growth this year.
``We've been very successful the last five years and we've added a new product line every time,'' said Boudreau. Last year the firm added concentrates for use with recycled thermoplastics and wood-plastic composites.