The Germany-based Hübner Group announced that it has plans to build a factory for the manufacture of elastomer products in the southeastern USA. According to the company, the decision is the result of continuing growth of its business in the USA. In 2018, the company was able to secure a major order to supply the New York City Subway with gangway systems.
Hübner General Manager Ingolf Cedra, responsible for Hübner's Material Solutions business segment, made the official announcement during a visit to the site in Dunlap, TN, USA. Also present for the announcement were Bill Lee, Governor of Tennessee, and Dwain Land, Mayor of Dunlap.
With this new initiative, each of Hübner’s three business segments – Mobility, Material Solutions and Photonics – will have its own US location for the development of the North American business. In Mount Pleasant in the neighboring state of South Carolina, the company has been producing gangway systems since 1995 for the American mobility market. Hübner is a leading supplier of gangway systems for buses and railway vehicles. In San José, California, the business segment Hübner Photonics has a sales and service location for its laser business.
The Dunlap facility will produce all of the elastomer moulded parts, silicone seals as well as sensor-equipped rubber profiles for the expanding US bus and train industries from 2020 onwards. The company said it has set itself the goal of becoming the worldwide market leader for door sealing and safety systems in the railway and bus segments – already having the largest market share for these segments throughout Europe. In addition, the new location will also supply the US oil and gas industry with various sealing systems.
“We want to be able to serve the strong growth in the American mobility market directly from here in the US,” explained Cedra in reference to the recent investment decision. “Our European customers have also increased their presence in the USA and they want to be supplied on site with the same level of quality that they are accustomed to in Europe. In addition to the site’s relative proximity of our main customers – the large bus and train manufacturers – which we can conveniently reach from here, the excellent general conditions of Tennessee as a location were an important factor in our choice," said Cedra.
“In the coming weeks we'll already be getting started with the construction work here in Dunlap,” said Ron Paquette, Managing Director of Hübner Manufacturing Corporation in Mount Pleasant, looking ahead to the upcoming schedule for the construction of the new factory. “The start of production is planned for the first quarter of 2020 and will then be brought up to speed step by step,” he said. In the first phase, a workforce of up to 50 employees is planned. The Hübner Group already employs more than 100 people in the USA.