This month we talked to Pat Ryan, President of Neocon International. Neocon is a locally based global exporter of car parts manufactured in Dartmouth’s Burnside Industrial Park. They count almost every major vehicle maker in the world as a customer, with more than 98% of revenue coming from outside Canada.
Tell us about Neocon and the greatest opportunities/challenges that lie ahead?
“Neocon is an award winning Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), design house, and production facility. Our designs add vehicle sizzle and are targeted at specific models upcoming in the automotive market. Customers include such Global 1000 clients as Nissan, Mercedes, GM, Toyota, and Subaru.
Adept to international business, less than 3% of Neocon sales are in Canada. All products designed and manufactured at our Nova Scotia facility make their way to various auto production plants in the U.S. or to ports of entry in Western Europe, South America, Australia, and China. It’s a global marketplace, and the challenge is to continuously innovate. With a philosophy of constant improvement throughout the company, we are always looking for that next trend that will further growth through evolving opportunities.”
What do you see as the greatest advantages of operating a business in Halifax?
“Halifax offers everything we need to compete globally. In the local economy, Neocon employs more than 200 full-time employees. This very reliable team of highly-skilled workers is proud of what we do and want to be successful right here in Halifax.
From companies that provide IT support, to recycling of materials that are not able to be reintroduced in our process stream, to electricians, everything we need that is crucial to our success is here in Halifax. Our manufacturing plant sources raw materials locally wherever possible, and not to be excluded are the transportation services we contract from local trucking firms.”
Hiring youth is important to the economic growth of Nova Scotia. What is your company doing?
“Within the local university ranks, we employ co-op engineering students from Dalhousie. In addition, engineering students in their graduating year are assigned design projects to complete their degree. In the past several years, projects such as automating production line packing systems or designing quick change over manufacturing work cells have been rewarding to the students and have helped advance the company. In any given year, Neocon will mentor upwards of 20 students ensuring they gain valuable skills to enter the work force.
Apart from growing our youth, Neocon also contracts work to Dartmouth Adult Services Centre (DASC) in an effort to support adults with intellectual disabilities. These positions provide pride for yet another important group in our community and it has been a 10-year endeavour of success.”