Viasystems Group, Inc. was formed in 1996 to create a preferred global manufacturing provider to leading original equipment manufacturers through acquisitions of PCB fabricators and backpanel assemblers.
From 1997 through 2001, we expanded rapidly through the acquisitions of several businesses throughout Europe and North America. During that time, we expanded our business model to include full systems assemblies, wire harnesses and cable assemblies. In addition, in late 1999, we purchased our first business based in China and expanded our product offering in China by acquisition through 2001.
In early 2001, the telecommunications and networking industries began a significant business downturn caused by the decline in capital spending related to such industry. During that time, we streamlined our business to focus on PCBs, wire harnesses and electro-mechanical solutions, and we significantly diversified our end markets and customer base. In 2004, we continued to further our strategy of expanding our capacity and manufacturing capabilities in low cost jurisdictions in our China PCB and Electro-Mechanical Assembly operations. Additionally, we continued to diversify our customer base and to streamline operations in our high cost manufacturing areas.
In 2005, in furtherance of our cost competitive manufacturing strategy, we closed several printed circuit board facilities in Canada and the Netherlands. Certain equipment from the closed facilities was transferred to our China PCB operations as we relocated production to lower cost areas. In order to support our customers’ local needs, we maintain engineering, quality and customer service centers in the Netherlands, Canada, England, China, Mexico and the United States.
In 2006, we de-leveraged our balance sheet through the sale of our wire harness business. This de-leveraging provided Viasystems with increased financial flexibility to continue to invest in our industry leading PCB and electro-mechanical assembly businesses.
In 2010, through the merger of Merix Corporation into Viasystems, we further diversified our served markets and our customer base, expanded our manufacturing footprint in China, and acquired specialized PCB quick-turn capacity in the United States.
In 2012, we made the strategic acquisition of DDi Global. As a provider of high technology PCB manufacturing primarily based in North America, their diversified customer base served to expand our service offerings in our designated end markets. This acquisition dramatically expanded our manufacturing footprint, adding 7 PCB facilities and creating a global fabrication footprint capable of meeting the demands of our customer base.