Carl and Jim worked together for a major automotive manufacturing company. Carl (program manager/manufacturing business office) routinely canvassed Jim (plant manufacturing engineer) for plant data (labor, facility, and tooling cost) in support of program status reviews with upper management.
In late 2011, Jim approached Carl for help in costing out a pickup truck accessory he had developed. Jim raises horses in Marshall, MI and would load his pickup truck with hay bales to take out to the horses. At the feed area, he would have to climb up in the truck bed to retrieve the bales that had slid forward to the truck cab. His solution was to develop a “truck trunk” to contain the bales for accessibility from the tailgate. Jim is a journeyman tool maker and crafted the first prototype made of wood clad with polyethylene plastic in his workshop. As Jim and his family attended various horse shows (his daughter, Izzy, is quite the equestrian), he encountered a significant level of enthusiasm for his “truck trunk” for horse equipment and tack gear. So much so that he was compelled to make one-offs for his friends.
Carl, having never owned a pickup truck, did not comprehend the function or utility of Jim’s “truck trunk” but was well aware of the huge Financial Planning Volumes annually projected for domestic manufactured pickup trucks (Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, GM Sierra, and Dodge RAM). Carl had a standing weekly lunch date with Russ (a retired co-worker and structural engineer with superb design instincts for automotive componentry) and suggested we introduce Russ to the “truck trunk” concept.
The three met at Ruby Tuesdays and Jim presented the concept and photos to Russ. Russ immediately understood the utility and market potential for the “truck trunk” and responded: “This is cool. We can do this!”.
Thus, TSP Enterprises, LLC was established (February 2,2012) and The Pickup Tuck was born.
June 18, 2013: Partnered with Garrett Engineering/ CAD & CAE Design
April 15, 2016: Ellis Hayes joins team as Director, Marketing and Customer Acquisition
May 15, 2017: Partnered with SPI Blow Molding / Complete Turn-Key Supplier / Coordinated design with 99Studio, Inc.
April 10 – April 23, 2018: 1st Pre-Production (1PP) Build: (50 piece sample run)
May 15 – June 01, 2018: Start of Production [SOP] Milestone