Automotive mold maker Hitop Mold Industrial Co. Ltd. plans to double the capacity of its factory in Dongguan, China. Managing Director Toni Yuan said the company is ready to grow its U.S. business with some “lessons learned.”
The company, which recorded more than 80 million yuan (about US$13 million) in 2011 sales, is also planning an initial public offering in China.
The expansion will start in August and add machinery to make large molds to help boost the firm's 2012 sales by 50 percent.
Hitop's molds are used by its European clients to make parts for premium brands such as Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover, as well as other brands such as Ford, Toyota and Volvo.
The company has not been able to replicate its European success in the U.S. market, which makes up less than 10 percent of its sales. Yuan reflected on Hitop's experience two years ago working with a U.S. customer that dropped it for “miscommunication.” The company concluded that it needs to communicate better with American customers and try to do business in person.
In fact, Yuan planned to visit the above-mentioned customer after NPE to resume their relationship.
“We are looking for auto molders in the U.S. that are ready to take advantage of the opportunity and improve their cost structure,” he said.
He plans to station a technical sales staff in North America.
Despite China's booming auto market, domestic sales take up less than 30 percent of Hitop's sales. “It's a different business model,” he noted.
By different, he means complicated.
“For the export business, all that matters is our competence — the capability to offer quality products, good service and communication. But for domestic business, it's not the same.”