1954 DuPont Canada
DuPont Canada’s roots go back to 1876 and an investment in Ontario’s Hamilton Powder Company that thrived supplying nitroglycerine to Canada’s railway builders. In 1911 the Nobel interests, who also had invested heavily in Hamilton, persuaded DuPont to form Canadian Explosives (CXL), owned 45 percent by DuPont and 55 percent by Nobel.
By 1927 the firm had expanded into chemical production and DuPont and ICI, the British chemical giant that succeeded Nobel, renamed the firm Canadian Industries Limited (CIL). During the Great Depression. DuPont assumed a more dominant role in the partnership due to the success of products such as Duco paints and cellophane.
After World War II, the U.S. Justice Department launched antitrust proceedings, and in 1954 CIL was split, with DuPont retaining its textile fiber and cellophane operations. DuPont of Canada Ltd., 75 percent owned by DuPont, began an aggressive campaign of expansion and diversification, set up its own Research and Development and Technical groups, based in Kingston, Ontario, and soon began to outperform many of DuPont’s U.S. divisions. Chemical operations and homegrown successes, such as the Sclair polyethylene resins process, kept the company’s fortunes high during the 1960s. But in the next decade the company endured its first yearly losses, however, it had more than recovered by 1979. During the 1980s and 1990s, the subsidiary, renamed DuPont Canada Inc., instituted innovations like a pilot nylon recycling facility at Maitland, Ontario, and the development of engineered-stone flooring systems.
At the end of 1999, the firm employed 3,300 people, maintained five manufacturing centers, and operated five main product lines including nylon, performance coatings and polymers, specialty fibers, specialty polymers and films. Although still 75 percent owned by DuPont, the Canadian subsidiary also has found its national identity to be a key asset. Les Operations du Quebec, for example, ensures that the company meets the needs of French speaking customers. DuPont Canada has developed its own successful product lines and Canadians dominate its management. Despite strong ties to the parent company, DuPont Canada is both a “Canadian” firm and a key part of a global enterprise.