By the late 1950s, Husky had established a reputation as a high-quality maker of plastic molds, especially "thinwall" molds used to make vending cups and other containers. As demand for the injection-molding machinery rose around the globe, Husky expanded to Europe in the mid-1960s and established a joint venture in Japan in 1971. A new line of molding systems, tailored for the production of PET bottle preforms, pulled Husky out of its crisis by the end of the 1970s. Profits from this area allowed the company to expand into other product lines and additional countries during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Competitive Advantage: Firm Characteristics
At the firm level, performance is determined by value and cost position relative to competitors.
Husky, as the leading firm in the preform niche, has a strong value position in comparison to its competitors as it differentiates itself from competitors by offering series of product innovations such as molds, hot runners, robotics, and value-added services. This strategy implies that Husky focuses on increasing the perceived value created for customers, which allows it to charge a premium price. Similarly, since Husky has 60% (estimated) of the world's preform manufactured on Husky system, their significant market share allows them increase the barrier of entry and continue to set a high price and earn supernormal profits as an oligopoly firm.
On the other hand, its relative cost position is weaker as they offers specialized machines, molds, hot runners, and robots and not purely standardized machines like Cincinnati Milacron. Hence, it reduces Husky's ability to compete solely on price.
Business Strategy: Focused Differentiation Strategy
Husky follows a differentiation strategy. The goal of a generic differentiation strategy is to add unique features that will increase the perceived value of goods and services in the minds of the consumers so they are