A lot of auto suppliers have tried to diversify in the past few decades, and that's a trend that's bound to continue. Some have been successful. National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" did a story on the trend this morning, and the main subject was a plastics industry toolmaker: TNT EDM Inc. in Plymouth, Mich. Detroit Public Radio's Sarah Cwiek notes that back in 2003, TNT saw many of its customers consolidating or going bankrupt, so it took steps to find non-automotive customers. "We started taking a look at what was out there that would appeal to our capabilities as far as other types of markets," said Greg Rothermel, TNT's business development director. "We have a lot of the high-tech processes and technologies that work well within aerospace defense." Last year aerospace-defense accounted for about 25 percent of TNT's business, and this year it will reach 50 percent. Sales have grown, too -- from $10 million in 2003 to $12 million last year. It's nice to see an auto supplier having success diversifying. For some tips on how to tackle new markets, check this video of Brian Jones from Plastics News' recent Executive Forum.
Diversifying from automotive
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