By Sue Moore
“It takes a lot of determination for a company to survive for 50 years,” said Eimo’s General Manager Gary Hallam as he summed up the history of this venerable Vicksburg manufacturing plant, “especially given the radical changes the company went through from 2000- 2008. But we want the world to know we are still determined to grow and evolve as a company.”
The employees’ Spirit Team planned a company picnic to celebrate the half century on Saturday, July 13 at Prairie View Park. At least half of the 310 employees attended with lots of fun things to do during the day, Hallam said.
Today Eimo is a leader in decorative molding for the automotive, medical, consumer and government fields. It has won many awards and is looking to the future of in-mold electronics where automotive appliances all have touch panels. This will position the company differently in the market, Hallam said.
The company’s new 50th anniversary logo includes the phrase “Still Determined.” It includes a red “S” signifying the Triple S logo and a blue “n” from the current Nissha logo. They salute its heritage from the beginning to the current time, Hallam pointed out. Three Vicksburg area men started the company as Triple S in 1969, including Phil and Dave Stewart and Vic Siemers. Dan Canavan and Siemers purchased it from them in the late 1980s. They then merged with Eimo, a Finnish company. In 2003 it was bought by Foxconn, which then sold to Nissha, a Japanese company, in late 2007. This last sale meant the company would now have global connecting capabilities and set it on course to grow even though 2008 was a tough year for Eimo and the economy.
Hallam has seen it all, having been with the company for 35 years. He is a Vicksburg High School graduate and attended Michigan State University. He now travels several times a year to the Nissha headquarters in Japan for company meetings. The parent company just celebrated its 90th anniversary under the same family ownership. Nissha offered Eimo the unique vertical integration that has helped to grow the company, making film which Nissha produces as part of the mold process.
At year-end, Eimo had $57 million in sales and is anticipating 10 percent growth with business already booked, Hallam said. It has three sales people on staff; Nissha has sales offices in Detroit and Chicago to complement their efforts. Eimo is running three shifts five days a week and opened its new Vicksburg east plant in January 2016. The main manufacturing plant is at 14320 Portage, Road, Vicksburg.