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Prepared for the September 13, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper.
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Exide Comes to Princeton
As the point equidistant between Philadelphia and New
York, Princeton has acquired the corporate headquarters of Exide
the largest global manufacturer of lead acid automotive and industrial
batteries (www.exideworld.com). About 50 administrative employees
will move from Reading, Pennsylvania, to offices at a West Windsor
location; at press time the exact location was not available because
the contract had not been signed.
Exide’s CEO Robert A. Lutz, 68, a former vice chairman of Chrysler,
lives in Michigan and will retain his residence there. Ironically,
Exide is in the process of acquiring another battery company that
was headquartered in Princeton because of its CEO’s preferences. Until
1990 GNB Technologies had its CEO’s office in a small space on
Road. That was because Stanley Gaines, GNB’s CEO, lived in Princeton
and preferred to keep his office here. Now GNB Technologies is based
in Atlanta and owned by an Australian firm, Pacific Dunlop.
After acquiring GNB, Exide will have $3.2 billion in annual revenues.
Last year that figure was $2.2 billion, but it lost $136 million,
and it is trying to get back into the black. Emptying the Reading
office will trigger layoffs there, though some workers will be moved
to Princeton and others to Atlanta or Chicago, where the automotive
and industrial battery divisions are located. Access to those cities
was another important factor in the choice of location, says Michael
Geylin, company spokesperson.
Other cost-cutting moves will be the closing of 11 North American
distribution facilities this month, which could save up to $2 million,
and saving $15 million annually on its racing sponsorships, while
retaining a long-time association with NASCAR. The company makes
for K-mart, Pep Boys, and the National Automotive Parts Association.
Charles E. Hance, the new secretary of the New Jersey
Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, and Keld R. Hansen, the new
director of the Center for Global Business at Mercer County Community
College, will speak at a reception on Tuesday, September 19, at 4:30
p.m. at Drumthwacket, the governor’s official residence on Stockton
Street. The event marks the grand opening of the Center for Global
Hance will discuss future export trade policies for the state, and
Hansen will give an overview of international opportunities available
to New Jersey businesses. In addition to focusing on education for
small to medium-sized businesses, Hansen’s center will support
trade missions, cooperate with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency
on reverse trade missions, and offer company-specific export advice
to individual businesses.
Admission to the opening at Drumthwacket is by invitation; call
extension 3639 or E-mail: email@example.com.
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