Premium Industries Inc.
Steel fuel tanks, automotive parts
Primary markets: North America
Number of employees: 1,100
Contact: Denis Poirier, executive vice-president
Tanks fuel Spectra Premium’s growth
North American automotive production, which took a huge hit during the recession, has been gradually bouncing back. This has been good news from Canadian sector suppliers, such as Spectra Premium which designs and manufactures steel fuel tanks and distributes a wide variety of after market parts such as radiators, heaters, oil pans.
Although the bulk of the company’s staff is located in Canada, according to Jacques Mombleau, the company’s CEO, almost 90 percent of sales are shipped to the United States. The inking of deals to produce steel tanks for plug-in electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and the Ford Focus have been a big driver of sales in recent years.
Mombleau, like many CEOs, charitably attributes the company’s success to “employees, employees, employees.” However good management also played a key role. Productivity, as measured by sales per employee, is up substantially during the past five years. As Mombleau is a former accountant, it is hardly surprising that recent advances include the implementation of a state-of-the-art enterprise resource planning system that provides management with real time detailed performance information.
Like most Canadian exporters, Spectra Premium has also benefitted from good luck in recent years. Automotive sales increased by 8 percent last year to 15.6 million units in the United States, the company’s largest market. Furthermore, the weakening loony has made Canadian products cheaper there in US dollar terms. This has considerably boosted the company’s competitiveness relative to US producers. That said, Spectra Premium is hardly resting on its laurels. Mombleau is targeting increasing annual sales to $500 million in coming years, in part through expansion to the European and Chinese markets.
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Peter Diekmeyer Communications Inc.