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History

Hutchinson, 160 years of enthusiasm for industry

 

Late 19th century. From shoes to tires 

In 1853, Hiram Hutchinson arrives in France from the United States and founds the Compagnie du Caoutchouc Souple to manufacture rubber in Châlette-sur-Loing. He has his sights set on the shoe market, under the "à l'Aigle" brand.
In 1860, the firm takes its first steps abroad, opening its third factory in Mannheim, Germany, and selling to the Central European markets.
In 1890 the firm begins to manufacture bicycle tires.

 

 

 

 


 

1900-1920. Rubber can be used for everything: Hutchinson diversifies 

In 1903 production of car tires begins, with the introduction of a new process. The Hutchinson bicycle tire establishes a name for itself with its single-strand model (used on the "Hirondelle"). The modern world, having mastered the automobile, now attempts to conquer the sky: Hutchinson provides coated fabric for the new airplanes and dirigibles.
In 1918, Hutchinson's head office moves to the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
In 1920, Hutchinson works in 10 segments: shoes, clothes, fabrics, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, heavy vehicles, balloons, heels and technical products. The best-selling products of the time are floor mats, Kégresse caterpillar track belts for Citroën, and seals for jars.

 


 

1930-1960. A time of creativity

In 1932, the first artificial sponges are invented and given the name Spontex.
In 1934, Jean-Félix Paulsen and Strakosky, former colleagues at Citroën, found the Paulstra company to develop a process to get rubber to bond to metal via brass coating.
The first elastic suspensions for aircraft engines are manufactured in 1936. Rubber is then used to reduce the spread of vibrations through cars, trains and subways and to soundproof buildings, etc.
In 1948, following the purchase of a latex factory, Mapa is born and begins to manufacture gloves.
In 1965, 15 million pairs of gloves are produced, over 6 million of which are exported to around 60 countries.

 


 

1970-1980. Going global

In 1973, Hutchinson and Mapa merge and Jean-Félix Paulsen sells Paulstra to Hutchinson Mapa (which will be renamed "Hutchinson" in 1981).
In 1974, Total acquires a majority stake in the company. The new company has a staff of 13,500 spread over 26 plants. The Hutchinson Group now serves three main markets: cars, industry and consumer products.
In 1986, Hutchinson acquires two major companies: Le Joint Français (precision seals) and Corduroy Rubber Company (car anti-vibration systems), marking the real starting point of Hutchinson's internationalization.
Lastly, in 1989, Spontex arrives.
Resolutely global and high-tech, Hutchinson is a company acknowledged for its expertise in the aerospace and automotive industries with strong brands in the consumer sector.

 


 

1990-2010. Increasingly high-tech expertise  

Turning its attention to technical markets, Hutchinson joins forces with companies with cutting-edge know-how in the 1990s: Vibrachoc, Desmarquoy and Caoutchoucs Modernes (France), Fayette Tubular Products, National O’Ring, Stillman, Rodgard (USA), Vincke (Spain, Portugal), Parets & Intecsa (Spain), Ertec (Argentina), Parmagan (UK, Malta), Cestari (Brazil), Lacesa (Mexico), etc.
Aigle parts company with the Group in 1994 and, in 2009, Mapa Spontex follows suit, with the Hutchinson Group now becoming a specialist in elastomer applications for industry and the automotive sector.
Finally, the Group's aerospace activities is given fresh impetus with the acquisitions of Espa (1998), JPR(1999), Barry Controls (2000), Techlam (2005), Jehier (2006), Strativer (2008), Kaefer and Keumah  (2011) and Marquez (2013).

 


 

March 2013: The Group unites
around a single brand: Hutchinson.

All of the Group's entities are coming together under a single brand. The goal? To  raise our profile among our customers and  create unity among our diverse teams. Hutchinson's identity has been redesigned, with a new logo, a new tag line, and the definition of the 5 values that unite us..