Why did Dagard, a specialist in insulating panels in Boussac (Creuse), open a factory in the United States?

Propose “French technology made in the USA”. It is with this effective formula that Dagard sums up its recent establishment in the United States. The specialist in cold rooms and insulating panels, founded in Boussac in 1951, this year inaugurated a 7,000 m2 factory in the American state of Georgia. Specifically in the city of Canton, north of Atlanta. This production unit would employ 24 people on site, according to Dagard.

15 million turnover in the USA planned for 2022

An establishment in the USA desired by the Portuguese group Purever, owner of the Creuse company since 2018. And which, until the beginning of 2022, still exported panels for “clean rooms” (controlled atmosphere rooms for scientific research or industry) manufactured in Boussac, to the United States.

The Dagard company in Boussac (Creuse) has manufactured a machine to decontaminate supermarket trolleys

“We have significant growth in the USA. Our turnover there has increased from 8 million dollars in 2021 to 15 million dollars in 2022. Our presence on the other side of the Atlantic allows us to perpetuate the trust of our customers there”, explains Luis Borges, president of Purever.

Dagard is recognized by American customers for the quality of its products. There is a significant demand from laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry. But also from the electronics sector, a market in which Dagard will position itself. Manufacturers, like Apple, have decided to internalize part of their production.

Luis Borges (president of Purever)

But Luis Borges also indicates that this establishment at Uncle Sam also aims to avoid costs related to container transport, which, according to him “have tripled since the crisis. »

Luis Borges, president of Purever

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The CGT evokes a « loss of competence » for Boussac

This prospect of development in the United States challenges certain employees of the Dagard factory in Boussac. And in particular the unionized staff at the CGT.

The management has relocated machines. People from here went to train employees there to work on this material. For us, it is a loss of skills and production at Boussac. We know the risks that can be associated with this type of approach.

Gaëtan Glomaud (CGT union representative at Dagard)

But this one however moderates his remarks: “It is worrying. But, for the time being, according to our information, it is a small entity dedicated to the specificities of the American market. This does not threaten the Boussac site. The people who worked on the relocated machines were reclassified in the factory in Boussac”, he continues.

Dagard, the first private employer in Creuse, bought by its main competitor Purever

New subsidiaries in Germany and Italy

For its part, the management of Dagard wants to be reassuring, because, according to it, part of the production intended for the American market should always be made in Creuse. “Far from having a negative impact, we believe that the increase in activity in the USA will generate an increase in production at Boussac, since only standard panels are manufactured in the United States, so exports from France to the United States States will increase”, indicates José Garcia, marketing director of Purever.

This establishment in the USA is part of a more global strategy of international development led by the group. Dagard’s management thus indicates that its exports represent 30% of its turnover. And announces the start of a technical-commercial subsidiary in Germany this year, and another in Italy for 2023.

Text and photos: François Delotte

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