Kickstart: Acquisitions, rotomolding and Mr. Peanut

Almost every company likes to brag that it has a long and storied history. Trilogy Plastics Inc. just happens to have one that stands out a little more.The rotomolder was in a major deal that sets up Myers for massive growth and follows up on an acquisition strategy for the company.While Alliance, Ohio-based Trilogy technically is 34 years old, it was created from roots that stretch back more than 100 years.”Originally named and based in Canton, Ohio, the firm has a colorful history that began more than 100 years ago,” Bill Bregar wrote for Plastics News back in 2005. “Old King Cole became well known for making paper mache figures of advertising icons like Mr. Peanut and Nipper, the RCA dog famous for hearing ‘his master’s voice.’ The company got into rotomolding in the 1960s.”(The photo up at the top is then-owners Bruce Frank and Stephen Osborn with a Nipper model.)During World War II, Trilogy was a key supplier in U.S. bomber production. You may have noticed Plastics News talks with Laurie Harbour and her consulting group, Harbour Results Inc., quite often. The reason why is easy to explain: Harbour is one of the very few analysts closely watching tool and die makers and small molders.She follows a very specific niche that a lot of the big firms ignore. It’s easy to overlook the small shops out there — most with less than $50 million in annual sales — but if these businesses can’t access equipment or material or capital, they impact the entire supply chain.During the in June, she pointed to supply and inflation as big issues facing mold makers but said she remains bullish on the industry.And in a new Q&A with Automotive News, she talks about how toolmakers are responding to the shortages in the supply chain by to cut time and costs. The work benefits carmaker customers, she tells Lindsay Chappell, but it also makes them more competitive.”The Detroit 3 buy probably 80 percent of their tooling in North America and about 20 percent in China. For the Japanese, it’s probably 50 percent in North America and the rest from Japan and China,” she said. “The Germans buy probably 20 percent of what they need in North America and the bulk from either Germany or China. So there is a very real possibility among North American tool companies that if you don’t improve your process, you could lose that business to competitors overseas.” A crowd calling for the return of General Motors Co.’s Saturn car brand along with its Plastic exterior body panels? Can this be real?Bradley Brownell from the website Jalopnik writes that former Jalopnik intern Andy Didorosi, who now runs the tour group Detroit Bus Co., set up a visit for a group called The Lemons Rally that included a stop outside GM’s headquarters.”The Lemons Rally folks and the Detroit Bus Co. folks threw this wild idea together the night before and told everyone involved to whip together some signs in support of Saturn,” Brownell wrote.The signs specified the “fantastic plastic” of the Saturn. The stunt even got some local news coverage, until the truth came out. Coverage of the “pro-Saturn protest” was then deleted.GM killed off the Saturn brand in 2010, although it still has its fans, including Brownell.”I will admit that my wife and I once shared a 1999 Saturn SL2, and it remains one of the best cars we have ever owned,” he wrote. “Damn, now I’m wishing I had been there demanding action for the people on the streets with this group of Saturn-loving troublemakers.”  Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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