HUSCO announces that it has added approximately 500 jobs since the trough of the recession in 2009. 55% of the jobs that have been added are in North America and over 200 jobs have been added at HUSCO’s Southeastern Wisconsin facilities in Waukesha and Whitewater. HUSCO currently employs over 1,100 associates globally.
The growth in employment is due to a substantial recovery of the worldwide construction, material handling, forestry, agricultural, and automotive markets coupled with increased market share in virtually each sector in which HUSCO operates. Revenue in 2010 increased over 60% compared to 2009 and sales are anticipated to increase an additional 40% to 50% in 2011. HUSCO sales in Q1 2011 increased 70% versus Q1 of 2010 which was a spectacular performance according to HUSCO’s Chairman, Agustin A. Ramirez. HUSCO’s recovery from the recession, which commenced in Q2 of 2010 for HUSCO, is expected to produce record financial performance in 2011. Additionally, HUSCO anticipates growth rates of over 20% per year during the next several years leading to a doubling of the business by 2013 compared to 2010.
The growth has allowed HUSCO to provide opportunities for virtually all factory workers laid off, and also has allowed HUSCO to restore all salary, benefits and profit sharing for office employees. Ramirez says, “Our workforce worldwide demonstrated extreme loyalty during the recession, and we lost very few key employees despite temporary deep cuts in total wages and benefits. We are extremely fortunate to have this pain behind us without damage to any strategic initiatives or organizational capabilities. Additionally, the leaner organization we have today has increased our level of competitiveness.”
HUSCO is a global developer and manufacturer of highly engineered hydraulic and electro-hydraulic controls for the off-highway and on-highway equipment markets with facilities in North America (Waukesha, Whitewater and Maquoketa, IA), Europe (UK), India (Pune) and China (Shanghai). HUSCO also has service, warehousing and sales facilities in Brazil. HUSCO differentiates itself in the global market place by its ability to engineer energy saving, custom-designed, hydraulic and electro-hydraulic control products exceptionally fast and is able to manufacture these products globally and cost-effectively. To execute this strategy, HUSCO employs an engineering staff of over 300 associates worldwide.
According to Austin Ramirez, HUSCO’s new CEO, HUSCO’s growth in the automotive market has been driven by its ability to expand market share in existing applications such as cam phasing and cylinder deactivation while simultaneously developing a wide range of new automotive products aimed at improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. These new applications include controls for variable oil pumps, turbo chargers, and piston cooling jets, plus a number of new transmission-related applications including controls for auto-manual, dual clutch, and continuously variable transmissions. These and other applications will increase the revenue of HUSCO’s automotive business from $23 million in 2009 to over $100 million of sales by 2012. HUSCO expects its automotive business to exceed $200 million in sales by 2015. Ramirez says, “Our highly cost effective global manufacturing facilities and supply base have allowed us to pursue applications outside North America with high quality products that can be produced at globally competitive prices. Our China facility serves the Japanese, European and Chinese markets while operations in Wisconsin supply North American and European markets.” HUSCO participates in many of the new technologies being developed by automotive manufacturers to increase the energy efficiency of new vehicles.
Austin Ramirez indicated that new developments in the global agricultural markets globally will allow HUSCO to grow this business which was hurt substantially by the loss of several major programs with John Deere. Success on these targeted programs will re-establish HUSCO as a market leader in implement control valves and hitch controls for agricultural tractors. HUSCO is actively pursuing market leaders in Brazil, India and China with new, highly innovative technology which has been developed within the last 24 months. Ramirez says “We are optimistic about our ability to receive major commitments from several global tractor manufacturers in the near future.”
In addition to the growth in agricultural and automotive markets, HUSCO’s growth in the construction market has been substantial despite the ongoing depression in housing in North America and Europe. Bob Mortensen, HUSCO’s Chief Operating Officer, indicated that the combination of new products and HUSCO’s global footprint has allowed HUSCO to substantially increase its market penetration in India and China which are now significant export markets for HUSCO’s North American and European facilities in addition to products produced by HUSCO’s India and China facilities. Mortensen says “although we will transfer production of some export products to their home markets in India and China, the manufacturing transition of these products will be phased to allow HUSCO’s North American facilities to operate at high rates as the North American and European markets recover.”
HUSCO’s growth in 2011 and 2012 will result in a record high level of capital spending and engineering development. “HUSCO’s product development and capital investments will exceed $50 million in 2011,” according to Austin Ramirez. Investments in 2011 will include the refurbishing of 15,000 square feet in HUSCO’s original facility in Waukesha to provide for the manufacture of automotive products. The new space is needed as HUSCO’s Whitewater facility will be running at full capacity by the end of this year. A new three year extension of HUSCO’s three year 2010 labor agreement has allowed Waukesha to become a highly competitive facility to manufacture selected products.
In China HUSCO will be expanding its facility by approximately 40,000 square feet to provide additional space for manufacturing products for construction equipment and automotive vehicles for China, Japan and Europe. Todd Zakreski, HUSCO Automotive’s President, indicates that HUSCO’s expanded facility in China will provide sufficient space to grow HUSCO’S automotive business in China to over $150 million. According to Zakreski, though the company will not reach this level of sales in China for a number of years, the number of new projects in the works dictates that it puts this capacity in place.
Gus Ramirez indicates that HUSCO’s growth is a result of aligning its marketing and product development strategy with its global operations footprint. Critical strategic investments were continued during HUSCO’s most difficult recession, and HUSCO is now achieving the financial performance it had hoped when it made these investments. The job growth in Wisconsin has also been aided by a more positive environment for investing in the state coupled with a highly cooperative environment with the IAM and its members in the Waukesha facility.