Andrew Boyd's Create a Company Challenge

Second Planet Resources

Established: November 5, 1980
Headquarters: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Employees: 164,400 (worldwide)
Industries: Steel and aluminum recycling and new material production, tires and rubber products, rare earths mining and recovery, glass production and recycling, chemical production, carbon recovery, storage and reuse, graphene production, environmental remediation and reclamation

Divisions:
- Second Planet Metallics
-- Western Canada Steelworks
-- Bethlehem Steel
-- Forrester Aluminum
-- Canadian Rare Earths Corporation
- Second Planet Plastics, Rubber and Synthetics
-- Carrier Plastics
-- Firestone Tire and Rubber
- Second Planet Environmental Remediation
-- Tashire Environmental
-- Ambleside Environmental
- Second Planet Glass
- Second Planet Carbon Development
-- Vancouver Island Hydro Engineering
-- Recover Carbon Systems
- Second Planet Energy
-- North American Waste Management Industries
-- Rasgado Pettersen Chemical Industries
- Second Planet Technical Development
-- MacMillan Contracting

The largest recycling company in the world, the Indo-Canadian behemoth Second Planet Resources is in 2020 is by some margin the largest recycled goods manufacturer on the planet, as well as its own vast industrial concerns making new steel and aluminum as well as vast array of products made from the recycled goods, while also being one of the largest spenders on research and development in materials science in the 21st Century, leading the vanguard of graphene that made a massive impact on the world's water supplies through graphene desalinization in the first three decades of the 21st Century. It all is an impressive result for a company whose history began with the creation of a business recycling automobile parts in Toronto's eastern suburbs by enterprising Canadian immigrant Kalbir Panjotarah shortly after he joined his two older brothers in the Scarborough section of Toronto in 1978. His brothers primarily saw the auto parts business as a smaller-scale development to refurbish parts from cars that were still usable. But Panjotarah saw the materials of scrap cars as being potentially more valuable, and by the winter of 1979 he and a pair of employees were taking the cars his brothers were salvaging parts from and chopping up the remains for scrap metal.

Far from being a small business possibility, in the early 1980s environmental concerns led to the growth in Residental Recycling programs in the developed World, and in Toronto it didn't take long for the small firm, which was incorporated as Manse Valley Metallics in November 1980, though the company moved out to a new premises in the Toronto suburb of Oshawa in 1984, taking over from a disused General Motors facility that offered plenty of space for the company's growing recycling operations.

From the start, the company did things differently that endeared it to both authorities and clients. The company began collecting aged appliances in 1985, but had developed their older Manse Valley plant specifically for this purpose, and the company dismantled many older appliances in a highly-cautious manner, wasting nothing and recovering environmental pollutants, including large quantities of PCBs from older electrical equipment and many other toxic materials, but the company's employees were always protected by personal protective equipment while doing this and the firm's handling of hazardous waste was exemplary. The Oshawa facility included one of the world's most advanced facilities for the sorting of mixed recyclables, and the company's development of its "NuPlastik" systems of recycling plastics and synthetic materials, first developed in 1989 for HDPE plastic and steadily advanced into other forms of synthetic materials, made sure the company could - and did - make a fortune selling clean materials to newer manufacturers. By the early 1990s the company had branched out into environmental remediation and metal castings and products themselves, including involving themselves in the gargantuan rebuild of the former Nanticoke Generating Station, the coal-fired power plant being taken out of service in 1991 for rebuilding into a huge waste-to-energy incinerator which, at the suggestion of Tashire Environmental (partially owned by the company at the time, it was wholly bought in 1999) included a major system to recover usable products from the waste gases from the plant, turning Nanticoke into a major laboratory for the development of environmental remediation. This setup made Tashire's reputation, and in the 1990s the company expanded dramatically, first across Canada, then the United States and eventually to Western Europe, Argentina, Israel and South Africa in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The company purchased the failing Western Canada Steelworks in Airdrie, Alberta, in 2000 and then the bankrupt Bethlehem Steel Corporation in the United States in 2001, dramatically expanding the company's new materials divisions, but acquisitions that led to both of the steel giants developing ever-better technology for the use of both new materials and recycled materials, while the Tashire division quickly focused its efforts on the reduction of pollution into the environment, but the Ambleside Environmental Group, which became part of Second Planet in 2004, moved into the business of cleaning up contaminated environments.

The ever-better development of recycling processes by the company (and many of its rivals), made the industry bigger and bigger, particularly as the concerns about resource scarcity resulted in newer materials being recovered from waste - gold and other precious metals, uranium, rare earth metals, rubber, lithium - and for new purposes, from the use of rubber in roadways and new materials for electronics manufacturing. Tashire's developments in chemical reclamation first seen at Nanticoke became almost de rigeur for dozens of major industrial facilities and thermal power plants in Canada in the 2000s, and the company pushed heavily into the United States and Commonwealth in the 2010s, as well as taking advantage of the development of the Washington Process for the chaining of carbon atoms and the splitting of carbon dioxide for the raw carbon, with the Recover Carbon Systems division of the company developing carbon dioxide recovery systems, while the Rasgado Pettersen Chemical Industries company developed ever-better ways of recovering chemicals from waste pollutants. As the company's massive output of recycled materials grew in the 2010s, so did the company's industrial output, being topped off when the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was purchased by the firm in 2012, the $15.5 Billion purchase making Second Planet one of the world's largest tire manufacturers.

The development of the Washington Process and the development of graphene as a tool for water desalinization made sure the company became a major player in the development of new desalinization projects across the Commonwealth in the 2010s, while the company's vast interests in recycling made sure it was a major supplier of materials to industry across many nations of the world. As steel began to be replaced by aluminum in many automotive applications (and then by composites), steel manufacturers and recyclers instead pushed the idea of steel-framed houses instead of wooden ones, an idea that in Canada with its heavy snows made quite a lot of sense. The company's glass division was one of the leaders of pushes for returns of recyclable materials for cash, having seen in Ontario and Alberta that the recovery rate at beer and alcohol stores was over 90%, and got the provinces to get a return program for all glass bottles, a program that ultimately expanded to aluminum and tin cans as well.

As Canada and the rest of the world got better and better at recycling, Second Planet and its biggest competitors - Waste Management, Republic Services, Veolia, Remondis, Hitachi Zosen - got better and better at removing what could be reused as raw materials, developing the term 'urban mining' as a umbrella term for the gathering of such materials, and they frequently became partners and supporters as much as competitors, with companies frequently trading technologies and methods, with Second Planet gaining global notoriety for its systems of recovering chemical compounds from industrial emissions and the 'NuMaterials' programs that began with NuPlastik in 1989.
 
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Fisker Automotive

Established: January 7, 2005
Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Employees: 4,420
Industries: Automobiles and auto parts

What happens when a famed designer of automobiles sees a movie star pull up to the Oscars in a lowly Toyota Prius, ostensibly out of concern for the environment? Henrik Fisker saw Leonardo DiCaprio do just that at the 2005 Academy Awards and he didn't like it, and the famed designer of (among others) the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8 decided that there had to be a market for a premium car that was much better for the environment, and he decided to make it happen himself.

By this point Fisker and partner Bernhard Koehler were already in business as a coachbuilder, selling customers specially-built 'coachbuilt' cars based on existing Mercedes-Benz and BMW models, but Fisker had adreams of moving beyond the coachbuilding business, and in 2005 he began to make it happen, designing a luxury car like no other. And the first-generation Fisker Karma most certainly was that.

A hybrid powered by an American Motors-sourced four-cylinder engine and powerful lithium-ion batteries, the Karma was set apart by being one of the most beautiful sedans made in modern times, with its aluminum coachwork wrapped around a beautifully-trimmed interior, the hybrid system consisting of a pair of battery packs along the spine of the car, giving it a 50-mile range on pure electric power, with the electricity driving a pair of electric motors on the rear wheels. The Karma continued with the environmentally-friendly theme with the use of a solar panel on the roof to charge the batteries and power the climate change system. The car's beautiful interior used salvaged lumber and recycled materials, as well as leather that did have some imperfections out of a desire to use as much of the leather from a single cow as possible. The response from customers was immediate - the company had nearly 4000 pre-orders for the model, and the company began production in February 2010 in Finland, but it was not long before Washington and the state of Maryland got in on the act, with Washington wanting to see the Karma succeed as a technology demonstrator and Maryland wanting GM's Baltimore Assembly to not go to waste. GM sold the plant to Maryland in November and promptly offered it to Fisker if they were willing to relocate some production to North America. Fisker took the offer, and production of the Karma began at Baltimore in September 2012, with the demand for the car from Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa supplied by the Valmet Automotive plant in Finland while demand from the Americas was supplied from Baltimore.

Fisker expanded in 2013 to the Karma Surf station wagon, with the following year seeing the introduction of the Fisker Sunset convertible, but the expansion and the expansion into Baltimore led to a suit from Valmet, which came at a very bad time indeed as the company's finances were being stretched by the expansion and the desire to fulfill the production of 16,000 cars that had been built up to that point.

Enter American Motors.

American Motors Chairman Mitt Romney, an enthusiastic owner of a Karma, saw the Fisker project as a way of expanding the technology his company and its partners in Renault and Nissan had access to, a particular point since AMC's luxury Packard brand, while somewhat of a competitor to Fisker, was focused on competing against Ford's resurgent Lincoln, GM's strong Cadillac and numerous other luxury car brands - Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Lexus - were chasing the same market share. American Motors also had a project that the company knew Fisker would be interested in.

American Motors bought a share in Fisker in May 2014, providing it more than enough capital to continue its production expansions and sever the link to Valmet, which was done in March 2015. Baltimore proved large enough to handle the production, but Fisker and AMC co-operated on a development of the Karma powered by a gas turbine, the Karma Evolution. The Karma Evolution's new powerplant increased the power of the car's gas engine from 285 horsepower to an even 400, and the new Karma also showed off new electric motors for the front wheels, making a four-wheel-drive car with 515 horsepower. The best advantage of the turbine-powered Karma was the ability to use nearly any liquid fuel - and the company tested everything from gasoline to liquid hydrogen before ultimately tuning production versions for the use of high-octane gasoline as well as the posibility of using E85 and E98 bioethanol - which it turned out many customers wanted when the car entered production in late 2016.

The turbine-electric Karma Evolution actually reduced emissions despite gaining considerably in power, and the improved car also gained considerably in electric range. No sooner has the Karma Evolution become a production reality than the company announced it would produce one of what AMC-Renault-Nissan alliance referred to as the "Holy Trinity" of new smaller-sized electric luxury cars in the Fisker Atlantic, which would join the Packard Generation and Infiniti E60. The trio of cars were designed as pure electrics, complete with large battery packs underneath the car, a similar arrangement to most modern electric cars.

The Atlantic/Generation/E60 trio was a direct shot at the Tesla Model 3, and Fisker made no secret of this, with Henrik Fisker himself talking down of the Tesla's styling and minimalist approach to interior design and detailing, saying "if customers want real electric luxury cars, they should be buying a Fisker." Tesla didn't take kindly to this of course, but by this time Tesla's Model S/Model X/Model 3 lineup was far outselling Fisker, though by this point Fisker was very well established indeed. Sales of the Atlantic were sufficiently good that the company began to look to build a new plant almost immediately after its new smaller car was introduced, ultimately building that plant in Clermont, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, in an agreement that saw the company gain the use of nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park for testing purposes - but the Hulman-George Family, proud Indianapolis residents and the owners of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, didn't take long to work with Fisker, either. A Sunset paced the 2018 Indianapolis 500, and soon faster versions of Fisker cars began bearing "Tested at Indianapolis" badges on their door sills.

As of 2020, Fisker's two plants in Indianapolis and Baltimore produce roughly 17,000 cars a year, sold mostly in the Americas. Ultimately sales of the cars were strong enough in right-hand-drive countries that the Baltimore plant was mostly assigned to the production of such cars, sold in the British Isles, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
 
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I need to think about what companies I could create. It's been forever since I've done any. Glad to see this thread live on.
I'm using it as sort of a depository for companies from the TheMann Universe that I'm kinda merging together from my TLs over the years, but I'm still up to chase new ideas. 🙂 My objective in the TLs is to have a much wider, more interesting world of automobiles (befitting a much richer world that takes better care of its natural world and resources) and have Canada remain an industrial heavyweight.
 
Thought I'd post the first in a series of ideas I had for some ideas that are derived from @TheMann.

Crossroads Commuter Railway
The 1960s and 1970s would prove to be a major time for change in the state of Indiana. As more and more people decided to flee the often uncomfortable lifestyles of Chicago for greener pastures. During this time, the state capitol of Indianapolis would prove to be a major destination for these former Chicagoans. Naturally however, the growing density in Indianapolis itself would lead to more people instead going into the smaller towns near the state capitol like Muncie, Crawfordsville, and Frankfort. With many of said jobs still being in Indianapolis however, it became clear that mass transit would be need to shuttle people to and from Indy.

As expected, the answer proved to be operated commuter trains from Indianapolis Union Station out to the surrounding towns. However, concerns with acquiring for building rail lines were raised until 1970. That year, the Erie Lackawanna was granted permission to acquire the Monon Route in its entirety - but with the catch that they'd have to sell off the former Nickel Plate Indianapolis Division from Michigan City to Indianapolis via Kokomo, Tipton, and Noblesville. The City of Indianapolis quickly acquired the line by 1971, and set to work creating passenger stations along the route for Broad Ripple, Castleton, Fishers, Noblesville, Tipton, Kokmo, and many other places on the way.

Opened for business on June 3, 1972, these services proved to be a major success for the city of Indianapolis. Naturally, more routes were studied for possible commuter service, with plans to have all of the said routes radiate out of Indianapolis Union Station. Eventually, numerous lines would open up during the next few years:
- Nickel Plate Route (June 1971): The ex-NKP from Indy to Kokomo.
- Central Route (August 1972): Runs over New York Central tracks from Lebanon to Shelbyville, with stops at Zionsville and Beech Grove. Like most other services, this line would be rerouted via Amtrak Midwest when it came to town in 1988. A later route addition in 1992 would see trains run south to Franklin.
- Airport Route (October 1973): Runs over the PRR from Greenview to Plainfield, serving the Indianapolis International Airport in the process. A later extension would see the line extended to Greencastle in the west and Knightstown to the east. Trains were eventually rerouted over the Amtrak Midwest's Pandandle line from Dayton to St. Louis was completed in 1995.
- Monon Route (September 1974): Runs over the Erie Lackawanna's ex-Monon/B&O lines from Frankfort, through Carmel, all the way to Rushville. In 1990, this line was extended eastward to Connersville.
- Southwest Route (June 1976): Runs over New York Central and Illinois Central tracks from Anderson, through downtown, and southwest. An extension in 2004 saw trains start running as far south as Bloomington.

As trains are small enough, the company uses EMUs and DMUs for their trains. Today, trains on the Southwest, Monon, and Nickel Plate Divisions use Nippon Shayro DMUs. Whereas the Central and Airport routes use Kawasaki M8 EMUs. All these trainsets are painted in a dark blue and gold based on the Indiana state flag.
 
American Motors Corporation

Established: October 1, 1954
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Employees: 55,650
Industries: Automobiles and auto parts, tractors, buses and mass transit vehicles

Divisions:
- American Motors Automotive
-- American Motors (medium-large size sedans, pickup trucks, commercial vans)
-- Packard (luxury cars)
-- Jeep (sport utility and off-road vehicles)
-- Apollo (sports cars)
-- AM General (buses, military vehicles)
- Wheel Horse (small tractors, lawn care equipment)
- AMC Components (vehicle parts)

The Great Depression and World War II had proven to be the best and worst of times for North American automobile manufacturers, with some being born during the Depression (Westland-Reynard) and some dying as a result of it (Hupmobile, Duesenberg, REO), but World War II shifted the goalposts by providing a vast sum of money to many of the automobile manufacturers in the form of payments for war materiel, which meant that after the war they could all get back to the business of producing cars as rapidly as was possible. In addition to these, entrepreneurs were still willing to enter the business, the most famed of which was World War II industrial tycoon extraordinaire Henry J. Kaiser, whose Kaiser-Frazer car company was one of the early lights of the 1950s - but as soon as General Motors, Chrysler and Ford began slugging it out over prices in the spring of 1952, the effect on the independent automakers was almost immediate and obvious.

For Nash-Kelvinator President George Mason, the solution was obvious - combine the smaller marques into one behemoth company, and Mason and his staff felt that there was room in the booming 1950s American automobile market for all of the companies to prosper, and he began to be the dealmaker that made it happen. Despite more than a few guffaws from the industry, Mason was successful, first by having Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson merge in the winter of 1953 and then by having his counterpart at Packard, George Romney, merge with the Studebaker company, which was rapidly followed in the fall of 1954 with the consolidation of the Hudson Nash Corporation and the Studebaker-Packard Corporation into the American Motors Corporation. Mason was able to see the merger through, but he died from acute pancreatitis and pneumonia on February 15, 1955, passing control of the company to Romney.

Romney, who would lead the company until his retirement in 1975, would go on to be one of the industry's great builders and creators, so much so that his name would be seen on streets in several cities where the company had its largest operations and he was given a send-off by 8500 of his employees in a massive party on March 10, 1975. AMC's success was almost immediate, as the company had the operating capital to finance new designs and vehicles - and Romney leaned heavily on this - and the company soon grew to have a very good rapport between its middle managers and its unionized workforce, something that would serve AMC very well in the years to come. That rapport and pushing for new designs first manifested itself in the "dinosaur-fighter" agenda of the late 1950s and early 1960s, along with the Packard "Ask The Man Who Owns One" campaigns and Studebaker's focus on the middle of the market, a move that resulted in the company phasing out the Nash and Hudson brands, narrowing themselves down to Rambler, Studebaker and Packard after 1958. But beyond the growing success of the company's compact cars, the company scored a bullseye that defined much of their future at the 1962 Century 21 Exposition in Seattle, where they showed off the AMC Javelin.

The Javelin was the first of the quartet of what became known as "pony cars", joined by the Ford Mustang, Reynard Spirit and the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird and Dodge Challenger/Plymouth Barracuda twins. The Javelin was, however, much more advanced than the Mustang (which landed two years later at a World's Fair, this time the one in New York City) in having standard Bendix disc brakes with dual master cylinders (GM did the same for the 1963 Corvette, but Ford and Chrysler muscle cars wouldn't get disc brakes until the late 1960s) and a unibody construction, something the Spirit (which introduced the fall of 1964) copied. AMC took the profits from its successful small cars and the Javelin and plowed them into newer medium and larger Studebaker and Packard cars, something that proved challenging at first but by the late 1960s had proven successful. Studebaker was ultimately phased out after 1969 in favour of cars just being referred to as AMCs, but the company's good moves weren't done there, as AMC's small car expertise proved highly useful with the introduction of smaller cars to North America in the 1960s, with the AMC Hornet and Gremlin being technically far ahead of the ancient Ford Pinto and being much more reliable than GM's rust-prone, horribly-unreliable Chevrolet Vega - and just to pour salt in the wound, the Hornet and Gremlin were born with a truly modern aluminum-block sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine, the AMC I-4E, which would be used in the company for many years to come.

The last of the smaller independents ultimately merged with the bigger companies in the 1960s, with Kaiser-Jeep and Apollo joining the AMC empire in 1963-64, leaving just International Harvester and Checker outside of the big five North American automobile makers. GM and AMC's technical prowess (with Westland-Reynard perpetually chasing and sometimes beating the others) led to Ford and Chrysler begrudgingly following along, but it was clear through the 1970s that the post-energy crisis world was a tough one, even as AMC's fleet proved to continue being successful and the Kaiser-Jeep entry into AMC proved a gold mine in the 1970s, particularly after International Harvester left the 4x4 business in 1977. Despite this (and continued cordial relations between AMC and its workforce), AMC's long-term issues forced the company to seek out a partner in the business.

They found it in Renault.

The giant French parastatal had been battling to get into the North American car markets for decades, and they joined forces with AMC in 1979 primarily for the dealer market and the ability to combine their smaller car lines with AMC's larger cars and four-wheel-drive vehicles, as well as the sporty Javelin, AMX and Matador sports cars and coupes. Renault's managers also helped with the introduction of many new operational and manufacturing procedures, and the company's middle management, having made their way into high positions, began to have their impacts felt in the early 1980s. Renault's new Medallion compact replaced the aging Hornet and Gremlin in 1981, but the Spirit lived on as a new sporty car, its SX/4 four-wheel-drive system becoming standard and the same system being marketed on a larger vehicle named the AMC Eagle. Packard got a huge boost when Patrick Le Quement came over to Renault-AMC in 1983 from Ford and led a renaissance of the Packard brand in the 1980s and 1990s. Renault's massive investment in AMC led to successes quickly - and the company scored massively in 1984 with the introduction of the Renault Espace minivan and the Jeep Cherokee sport-utility vehicle, two designs that became huge sellers. The AMC Medallion and new AMC Ambassador, which were introduced in 1986, also proved successful, and the newest Javelin in 1987 proved a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Despite the assassination of Renault President Georges Besse in November 1986, Renault fought on to be successful in North America, and by the late 1980s the four brands the company sold - Renault, AMC, Packard and Jeep - were all proving ever-more-successful.

It was just part of what had happened in North America's auto industry. All of the Big Five had by the late 1970s learned of their labour and structural issues, and had spent much of the time correcting them. Chrysler had only just made it through a bankruptcy scare in the early 1980s, but the small cars that Japan had made a fortune in North America from in the 1970s had found the Big Five ready for war by 1982. The General Motors J-cars, Ford Sierra, Escort and Fiesta, Chrysler's K-cars and the Westland Chaser/Reynard Prodigy twins joined the AMC Spirit and Renault Alliance and Encore as worthy contenders in the marketplace, and it showed in the financial results for all involved. AMC's success got even more pronounced with the Renault Clio and Twingo, both of which dropped in North America at the same time as Europe. The AMC cars - Medallion, Matador, Javelin and Ambassador - fit in perfectly with the smaller Renaults beneath it - by 1992, Renault sold the Twingo, Clio, Alliance and Encore, along with the Espace minivan - creating a nearly seamless match between the two companies, particularly once Renault introduced the Packard marque to Europe in 1996, following years of failures with the 25 and Safrane at getting into the executive car market.

When the French government announced the privatization of Renault in 1994, AMC quickly snapped up 27% of the company to match the 49% of AMC Renault owned, in an action that solidified the alliance between the two automakers. The success of the Jeep SUVs and the growing sales of sport-utility vehicles in North America in the 1990s saw AMC introduce its own full-size pickup, the AMC Commander, in 1994, in an attempt to rival the large pickup trucks from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The Commander was only semi-successful, but the AMC Marshall smaller pickup truck, introduced in 1996, was much more successful and, when combined with the AMC Master's arrival in North America in 1996 and the slightly-smaller Trafic arriving two years later gave the company a vast, diverse lineup of cars to sell.

But nothing compared with what was to come at the end of the 20th Century.

Nissan had been suffering badly under the weight of financial problems for many years by the late 1990s, and it had by 1998 reached the point where the company was near collapse. On March 27, 1999, AMC and Renault each bought 19% of Nissan, while Nissan bought a 12.5% non-voting stake in Renault and purchased 15% of the Renault stake in AMC. The resulting grouping, called the Automakers Alliance, established a joint management center in Toronto, Canada, and saw Renault vice-chairman Carlos Ghosn and AMC executive vice-president Mitt Romney take over the leadership at Nissan. The Ghosn-Romney pairing ended up being highly successful, and the alliance gave both AMC and Renault extensive access to Nissan designs and components, but the same was true in reverse, and all took advantage of it. By the mid-2000s, many of the medium-size Renault and AMC models were making use of Nissan's brilliant VQ-series V6 engines, and while Renault had primarily developed the smaller and diesel engines, AMC's engine development produced one big-car gem after another, with the "Packard Alpha" V12 being one of the crowning glories, with the Packard Twelve of the era being sufficiently good that Nissan asked for - and got - permission to make it in Japan as the newest example of the flagship Nissan President, with the model proving more than capable of rivalling the best Toyota could throw at it. Over the 2000s, many AMC-Renault dealers also began to sell and service Nissan products.

By the 2000s, Nissan's luxury brand Infinit had come to a reasonable co-existence with Packard, even as the AMC-Renault and Nissan companies operated as independent units that nonetheless worked with each other frequently and often, a situation that got more pronounced after Renault arranged the combination of its Renault Trucks division (and it's American Mack Trucks subsidiary) with Nissan Diesel in 2001, foreshadowing further consolidation efforts. Ghosn and Romney were highly successful at turning around Nissan's fortunes, but it came at the cost of Nissan's management class over time souring on them, but in North America and Europe Nissan's operations quickly meshed with that of its partners, particularly as the construction and rebuilding of many plants of all of the automakers allowed all of the companies' products in a particular size category to be built in one place.

By the 2010s, Romney had returned to North America to run AMC, and a massive financial improprieties fight saw Ghosn effectively levered out at Nissan, and while the charges were never proven Ghosn returned to simply running Renault, while Nissan in North America and Europe found itself adrift again, despite the best efforts of the Japanese company's managers. By 2018, AMC and Renault were forced to up their stake to keep the big company afloat, and in this case the pair insisted on moving strategic decision making to the joint management center in Toronto and saw Nissan gain a new CEO in Reiko Nishamura, a Japanese-Canadian woman whose presence at the company's pinnacle again caused ruffled feathers, at least for a little while before, as with Ghosn and Romney two decades earlier, she made considerable headway in righting the Nissan ship.
 
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Pulaski O’Connell Automotive works
Established 1902
Headquarters Hamtramck Michigan

  • North American division:
    • Headquarters: Hamtramck Michigan
    • Highland Park Michigan
    • Detroit Michigan
    • Zacatecas, Mexico
  • Fire Apparatus Division
    • Oshkosh Wisconsin
  • School Bus Division (O’Connell Bus)
    • Conway, Arkansas: Headquarters
    • Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • South American Division
    • Headquarters and Factory: Rio de Janeiro
  • European Division
    • HQ: London, England
    • Nuremberg, Germany
  • Middle East Division
    • HQ: Dubai, UAE
  • African Division
    • HQ: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Asian Division
    • HQ: Hong Kong
    • New HQ: Seoul, South Korea
    • Jinan, China
    • Bhopal India (future)
  • Oceania Division
    • HQ: Sydney, Australia
  • Russian Division
    • HQ: Moscow, Russia



The Pulaski O’Connell automotive works was founded in 1902 by Aleksander Pulaski, who was the son of Polish immigrants, as well as Patrick O’Connell who was an Irish American Farm boy from Michigan with a gift for sales. Up until 1909 the Pulaski O’Connell automotive works made around 100 cars a year in their Hamtramck Michigan Factory. In 1910 Aleksander Pulaski Bought three Rolls-Royce Ghost Chasses and made specialized bodies for them. In 1913 the Pulaski O’Connell works produced its first fire apparatus and bus. In 1914 the Highland Park factory was built. This factory allowed for the rapid production of cars and trucks.

In 1916 the Production of Rolls-Royce Ghosts came to an end with the British government ending the sale of Rolls-Royce Ghost Chasses to civilian buyers. In 1917 the Pulaski O’Connell automotive works were given an order by the war department to build Liberty trucks. By the end of the war, the Pulaski O’Connell compony had created 1000 liberty trucks all of the type A design.

In 1919 three significant things happened to the company. The first one was the death of Aleksander Pulaski from the Spanish flu in January. The second thing was the resumption of Rolls-Royce Body production, the final thing was the introduction of the Yellke heavy truck. The first Yellke heavy truck was based off the Liberty truck mark one with the engine being replaced with an in house inline four-cylinder gasoline engine. The Yellke heavy truck was an immediate success.

In 1928 several changes happened to the Pulaski O’Connell Automotive Works line up. The first thing is that their B model car was replaced with their C model which had a V8 engine. The B model trucks were replaced with the workhorse model of trucks. At the same time, the Yellke heavy truck was replaced with the Yellke two truck.

In 1932 Patrick O’Connell had a series of strokes that required him to retire. His son John P O’Connell took over the running of the company from his father. Because the Company was close to bankruptcy Patrick discontinued the car and luxury coach divisions and focused on the production of trucks and busses. In 1935 the Yellke diesel was introduced as well as the Workhorse one P which was a Workhorse half-ton truck with a wagon body on it. Intended for the CCC only about 250 were made and production was discontinued in 1938.

In 1940 the Pulaski O’Connell compony was asked to make a prototype Jeep as well as heavy trucks for military use. In 1941 the Pulaski O’Connell compony designed the Yellke three. Based on military specs the Yellke three was made in two and a half as well as six-ton versions. Throughout the war, the Pulaski O’Connell compony made 75000 jeeps, 200000 two and a half-ton Yellke 3’s, and 50000 six-ton Yellke 3’s. In 1946 the Pulaski O’Connell compony replaced the workhorse series of trucks with the mule and Yellke Jr. Based on their jeep (the Army quarter ton in compony parlance). The Mule came in the quarter-ton, half-ton, and one-ton varieties. The Yellke junior came in 1 and a quarter, 1 and a half, and two-ton varieties. Each one of these models had body options including pickup, van, flatbed truck, garbage truck, and fire apparatus. Also, in 1946 the Yellke two was discontinued in favor of the Yellke three. In 1947 the Pulaski O’Connell B Model bus was introduced which were of monocoque construction with steel frame rails and aluminum body panels. The D model would continue to be built with slight alterations up to 1970.

In 1952 a cab-forward option was offered for the Yellke junior and Yellke 3 trucks. In 1955 Patrick O’Connell retired from running the company and was replaced by Fredrick Mueller. Fredrick Mueller would remain CEO until 1972.

In 1960 the Mule Series of light trucks, as well as the Yellke junior, were replaced with the traveler sires of trucks. The Yellke 3 was replaced with the Series E, EO, and EF. The E series was a conventional cab truck , the EO was a cab over truck, and the EF had the engine running through the cab in a doghouse. In 1964 a factory was set up in Germany that was run jointly by BMW and Pulaski O’Connell.

The 1970s were a turbulent year for the Pulaski O’Connell automotive works. In 1972 Fredrick Mueller was replaced a CEO by Jacob Smith. Also, in 1972, the D model Bus was replaced by the F model Bus. In 1978 the Pulaski O’Connell automotive works declared bankruptcy in part because Jacob Smith and the CFO Norman Polansky had embezzled tens of millions of dollars. However, Unlike Enron, the Pulaski O’Connell automotive works survived and Jason O’Connell who was the great-grandson of founder Patrick O’Connell took over the company. In 1979 the Traveler light trucks, and D model busses were discontinued.

In 1980 the Series E, EO , and EF were replaced by the Series G, GO, and GF. All three had a maximum Gross Vehicle Weight from 16000 to 94000 pounds depending on the model. In 1989 the Pulaski O’Connell automotive works acquired Ward Body Works which was Rebranded as O’Connell Bus.

In 1990 the Series G, GO, and GF received midlife styling and engineering upgrades. In 1991 the Demand for Pulaski O’Connell fire trucks rose to do to the fact that they were able to fill the same niches as the Ford C sires and Mack CF. That is that Pulaski O’Connell fire trucks could take a beating but were affordable. In the 1990s many large jurisdictions bought large numbers of O’Connell Fire apparatus including New York City, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Miami Dade, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Montreal, Toronto, and Seattle. O’Connell fire apparatus were also bought in large numbers by many wildland fire agencies such as the US forest service, National parks service, The BLM, and California department of forestry and fire protection or Cal Fire. In 1995 the GO and GF were discontinued for most body styles in the North American Market do to decreasing demand. Also, in the 1990s Pulaski O’Connell factories were set up in Mexico and China.

In 2002 the Series G , GO , and GF were discontinued and replaced by the Series H, HO and HF. There were numerous mechanical improvements over their predecessors as well as a streamlined bodies. In 2006 an option for a natural gas, or propane engine was added.

In 2012 the H, HO, and HF Series of trucks received a midlife refresh. This included the option of fiberglass cabs, a streamlining of the trucks, and the inclusion of a hybrid option. In 2015 CEO Jason O’Connell retired and was replaced by Brittney Hernandez. In June of 2020, it was announced that the Pulaski O’Connell factory based in Jinan, China would be moved to Bhopal, India and that the move would be completed in 2024. It was also announced that their Asian headquarters would move from Hong Kong to Seoul, South Korea in 2021.
 
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Billabong Tea
Founded:
June 23, 1984
HQ: Macon, GA

This company was founded by buisinessman Robert Banks, one of the several sons Railroad CEO Alfred Banks had. "Robbie" first conceived the idea of tea when thinking of the public's occasional dislike for unflavored coffee, and thought of a way they could get that caffeine in a way that didn't need a bunch of sugary condiments to be sufficiently palatable. The answer, in his mind, was naturally tea. Banks created the "Billabong Tea" name because of the chorus of the Australian folk song "Billy of Tea", which has since become the leitmotif of the company in commercials and other advertising.
 
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Pacific Alliance

Established: September 27, 1973
Headquarters: Esquimault, British Columbia, Canada
Employees: 4,650
Industries: High-end computers and mainframes

One of the world's foremost developers of high-powered specialized computers, Pacific Alliance began from ex-Royal Canadian Air Force technicians Colton Hogan, Anthony Marshall and Kyler Janari, Ukrainian-born computer scientist Dr. Yuliya Artemenko and American ex-Control Data Systems designer Dr. Peter Willman, the latter two meeting the first three at an electronic technology conference in Vancouver in the spring of 1972. Janari and Hogan had been graduates of the Computer Science Resarch Laboratories, while Marshall had been a senior on the development of AWACS aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force in the late 1960s.

Dr. Willman convinced Dr. Artemenko that a new design of supercomputer was indeed possible, knowing of Seymour Cray's efforts in the United States and the likelihood that they could come up with something amazing themselves, and Janari, Hogan and Marshall all knew that the market for such computers was likely to expand far beyond its current ranks, particularly as the world's communications systems got more advanced and the technical details of many elements of such things as spacecraft and weapons design were getting ever more complicated. All of this combined led to the founding of Pacific Alliance Computer Corporation in September 1973, with the partners setting up shop in Vancouver, British Columbia, to begin the development of such computers. Having sourced the funds to begin development from the Province of British Columbia (who was eager to establish a technology industry in the province, which at the time had a mostly resource-based economy) and investors, the company showed off its first product, the Pacific Alliance PS-1, in March 1976. Another example of a vector processing computer (again, similar to the Cray-1), the PS-1 could blow off just about anything even close to it, and the design caused headlines, and a lawsuit from Cray directed at Willman, who he claimed had stolen design ideas. Cray's lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, but not before it caused considerable animosity between the two companies.

The power of the PS-1 meant that the company had little difficulty with marketing once the first four units, all built in 1976 and 1977, were installed for their clients - the Computer Science Resarch Laboratories at Queens University bought the first example, the second went to the Royal Canadian Navy's Technical Research Laboratories in Shearwater, Nova Scotia and the other two were delivered to the Meteorological Service of Canada and to Rolls-Royce Orenda. All four proved stunningly capable, and even at nearly $10 million each and despite their immense electrical demands - a PS-1 requires 206 kW of electricity, almost double that of a Cray-1 - the computers matched Cray's system practically shot-for-shot, and over 70 were sold in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the earnings from this allowing the creation of the PS-2 successor machine and the PS-3, a smaller machine meant for computer testing programs for new products - the use Rolls-Royce Orenda had bought theirs for. Pacific Alliance's best markets were in the Commonwealth nations as well as France and the Netherlands. While Cray stayed focused on the highest-speed computers, Pacific Alliance recognized the possibilities of smaller high-power applications and the development of massively parallel designs, and by the late 1980s the company was focusing its more recent developments of the massively parallel designs, a decision that proved highly beneficial.

The development of the CANTIS naval information system, first seen on the Royal Canadian Navy's Fraser-class air warfare destroyers which entered service in 1985, saw Pacific Alliance's products make their way into defense applications. The Fraser was heavily-derived from the American Ticonderoga-class cruiser (the US knew this and had no objections), but using Research in Motion-designed surface-search radars and Pacific Alliance's control computers merged with the AEGIS system to provide a capability even beyond the American vessels - and true to form, the AN/UYK-43/44 computers used on later Ticonderoga-class vessels and the following Arleigh Burke-class destroyers is inspired heavily by the Pacific Alliance PS07 computers installed on the Fraser-class. Pacific Alliance focused heavily on corporate needs and sales and developing architecture for efficiency and flexibility rather than pure speeds, a decision that was undoubtedly beneficial when the bottom fell out of the supercomputer market in the early 1990s, wrecking several competitors - but not Pacific Alliance, which moved to new offices in Esquimault, British Columbia, almost directly adjacent to the Royal Canadian Navy's massive Esquimault Naval Base. By the 1990s Pacific Alliance followed the leads of many of its contemporaries and also developed better networking designs (though it ended up selling these operations, at a considerable profit, to Nortel Networks in 1997) and developing high-end workstations and mainframes.

By the 2000s, the company's advanced divisions had jumped back into the fighting for the world's fastest computer title they had last been a rival in in the late 1970s, building the PS23X at the Computer Science Resarch Laboratories, which in April 2001 took the fastest computer title back for Pacific Alliance for the first time since 1980, running at 12.26 TFLOPS. It's record only lasted a year before the NEC-built Earth Simulator in Japan blew its performance record away, but the PS23X remained in use until 2016 at the Laboratories, and Pacific Alliance jumped at the record again, this time ably assisted by Research in Motion, Commodore and ATI Technologies, with the PS30X "Pandora" at the University of Waterloo, which began operation on May 16, 2010, again taking the title - and, in something that Pacific Alliance loudly boasted about, taking it from the Cray-built XT5 Jaguar the Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

As of 2020, the company employs 4,650 employees, almost all of them in Canada and the majority of them in British Columbia or Ontario. Pacific Alliance's largest customers remain in the Commonwealth of Nations, though they have made sales successes around the world and are respected pretty much everywhere.
 
Pullman-Ansaldo
Created:
June 23, 1966
HQ: Joliet, IL

The aftermath of the Second World War would see the American transportation scene change radically. Especially as the Cold War flared up, and the US saw the need for every piece of transport infrastructure be at its peak efficiency. Although railroads did factor heavily into this, the roads were the main source of transporting people and the railroads were mostly seen as being the main operator of bulk goods. Unfortunately, the passenger system in America would find itself faltering as a direct result, and nearly everyone felt itself affected by this.

One such victim of this shift was the Pullman Company. Famous for its passenger cars, the company would naturally find itself struggling by the time the migration to automobiles began in earnest in the mid-1960s. However, as was the case with many other railroad-related companies, numerous blessings in disguise would emerge - especially when it came to British, European, and Japanese companies hoping to enter the American railroad market with their new diesel and electric locomotives. For instance, 1963 was when the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) was reborn as Chrysler Rail (with the ALCO name still being used in marketing). Thankfully, Pullman would prove to be no exception. Soon, they were eyed by the Italian company AnsaldoBreda for the building blocks of a possible American subsidiary. Negotiations began in earnest in 1962, and were completed by 1966.

Initially, the company mostly worked on building americanized variations of AnsaldoBreda's rolling stock. Especially when it came to rolling stock for various commuter and rapid transit services. However, that would change when in 1975, the newly-formed Amtrak tasked Pullman with building passenger cars similar in design to the Santa Fe's Hi-Level cars (the ATSF still ran its own passenger trains at the time, only giving up in 1996). Pullman quickly delivered, and the passenger cars proved to be massive hits on the western routes that Amtrak used. However, this would prove to be only the start of Pullman's return to glory.

In 1982, President Reagan announced a major step in refining and improving Amtrak's system. The system would be split up into a series of regionally-operated systems that would be operated out of various regional transport hubs, but were still technically owned by the DOT. This system would lead to Amtrak Midwest being located right in Chicago, which Joliet was so very close to. All too soon after the official creation of Amtrak Midwest, plans were drawn up to operate high-speed trains on the growing Midwest network. Naturally, the locally-based Pullman-Ansaldo company was commissioned with this operation, and in 1986 they revealed the Pullman-Ansaldo E1 Transets. These trainsets not only were massive hits on the Midwest network, but also inspired the ETR 500s in Italy seven years later.

Today, the company still works on Amtrak's passenger fleet in both building and maintenance. However, they also have built various EMU streetcars for use on the numerous commuter systems across the country. Their most lucrative client on this front is the Ohio DOT, which runs their LRV train in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and the Detroit-Toledo-Sandudsky metro areas. Additionally, the company created the body shells for the Amtrak Northeast E5R Class trainsets, which were loosely based on the 500 series Shinkansens. Since then, Amtrak Midwest has retired its E1 Transets, but they were sold off to the state of Alabama, which operates them on the Yellowhammer state system meant to link Chattanooga and New Orleans via Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, and Gulfport. One of the E1 trainsets that wasn't sold to them, #E1-003, is now on display at the IRM in Union, IL.
 
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Pullman bought by Ansaldo. That's an interesting idea, though it could work very nicely if the Italians can make fast and comfortable trains work in the United States.
 
Pullman bought by Ansaldo. That's an interesting idea, though it could work very nicely if the Italians can make fast and comfortable trains work in the United States.
Since my TL has a bigger and better Amtrak as the 80s and urban congestion kicks in, that not only does happen in the Midwest, but also extends to various state rail networks, which often use passenger cars built by Pullman-Ansaldo. Indeed, the coaches that were first build by Pullman-Ansaldo for the Virginia-based TransDominion Express are considered by many some of the best in American railroading.
 
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Alsthom America
Created:
February 3, 1974
HQ: Lima, OH

As it became clear that the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Company's acceptance of diesel supremacy had come too late, the comapny sold out to General Motors. Operating under the EMD brand, GM did indeed use numerous parts of the company like many of their diesel designs and the ex-Baldwin works at Eddystone, PA. In contrast, however, the Lima Locomotive Works' legendary plant at Lima, Ohio was left to rot. That is, until the foreign companies entered the American Railroad scene, and Lima found itself being eyed by the French locomotive firm Alsthom. For years, it had yearned to enter the American market, but it took the decline of American locomotive builders for that to become more than a mere pipe dream.

Nontheless, Alsthom new that to survive the American market, it would have to enter the strongest it could be. As such, the company quickly set to work creating their first locomotive built specifically for the American market. Their first locomotive would be an electric based loosely on the SNCF BB 15000, which had been a successful mixed-traffic design in the company's native France. Eventually however, the need for stronger locomotives lead to the locomotive becoming a Bo-Bo+Bo-Bo design. The final product would become the 6000NA locomotive.

Alsthom didn't need to wait long for a chance to prove they had potential. On June 23, 1975, the Burlington Northern Railroad announced plans to bring back the electrification to the Stevens Pass Route from Spokane to Seattle via Cascade Tunnel. Alsthom pounced at this opportunity, and offered to have the first examples of the 6000NA tested on the new electric system. The 6000NAs were quickly smash hits among BN crews, and BN immediately bought another 19 of the engines - brining their total 6000NA fleet to 20 locomotives. Soon, the locomotive's power across mountainous route was noticed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, which promptly bought up 15 of the design for use on the Keystone Route to Pittsburgh.

By the year 1985, Alsthom had clearly established itself as a smaller, but still important figure in the production of American locomotives. The BN, PRR, New York Central, Southern Pacific, and Milwaukee Road all loved their 6000NA. However, Alsthom decided it could do a bit better, and created the 6000NA2. This locomotive was different from the original 6000NA in that it was a singular Co-Co unit locomotive. Once again, this locomotive was fairly successful, and was ordered by all of the same companies that bought the first model. This time however, that club would be joined by two of the fiercest rivals in the South's railroad scene.

Having long dealt with torturous grades in their treks from the Midwest/Southeast gateways to the Deep South, the Louisville & Nashville and the Southern were fairly enthusiastic in electrifying. The L&N put wires up over the mainline from Cincinnati to New Orleans via Nashville, Birmingham, & Mobile as well as over the ex-NC&StL from Memphis to Chattanooga via Nashville. Meanwhile, the South electrified from Cincy to Chattanooga, with electrification then going to either Atlanta or Birmingham. Initially, the L&N stuck to EMD electrics and the Southern used ALCO products, but both soon guzzled up Alsthom locomotives.

The third locomotive in what would be the Holy Trinity of Alsthom’s first locomotives was the 4000NA. A Bo-Bo design that was commissioned by Amtrak to fill a need for electric engines to haul the Talgo cars that were iconic of the Midwest regional network’s feeder services, which became major even as high-speed rail became the norm. The 4000NAs were well-liked among crews of Amtrak Midwest, and eventually would also see service on Canadian VIA Rail trains. Furthermore, the Cascades service from Vancouver to Eugene, OR would also see the 4000NAs pulling Talgo sets, which became iconic of the regional services there.

Eventually, Alsthom also confirmed plans to try building new diesels for the American market. The first was the PL42AC Bo-Bo, which was intended for Amtrak. However, Amtrak found it preferred other diesels, and the locomotives would instead be run by various commuter train operators across America. Their other diesel would prove to be the 2000NA, which was built as an American version of the fast freight hauling BB 75000 in France. The New York Central especially loved said engines, and put them to work on the fast freights on the line to St. Louis, which unlike the lines to Chicago and Cincinnati were not electrified. Rock Island, Santa Fe, Gulf Mobile & Ohio, and the Seaboard Coast Line also liked the 2000NA engines for their fast freight services.

Despite not making anywhere as many locomotives as the other major producers in the American locomotive market, Alsthom America is still a major player, with their locomotives being strong and important in the movement of heavy goods on many electrified railroads. Another worthwhile note is that the 6000NA2 became known to Southern Pacific crews in California and Oregon as "Lupins", in a reference of manga and anime character Lupin III, which had become a hit in the US thanks to his own show airing on CN's Adult Swim block.
 
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Inspired by Colonel Goldberg's post.

Major League Cricket

Average attendance 2020: 40,000 per game

Set up in response to the 1981 MLB season shut out, media magnate Kerry Packer set up a 32 team cricket league similar to his 'World Series Cricket' championship of the late 70's. To create an interest in the US, the game was set for no more than four hours so was set at only twenty overs each. This was copied later on in the 2000's as 20/20 cricket.

As in Packers 'WCC' championship, the worlds best players were brought in to give the fledgling sport some much needed 'razzmatazz' and increase the fans. Players such as Greg Chappell, Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Dennis Lillee, Botham, Boycott, and a host of others etc were again offered outrageous amounts of money to play in the league which went down a treat with the fan's, even those who hadn't known about the sport before. Due to a lack of venues, the early seasons borrowed MLB stadiums until the clubs built their own stadiums.

After a mere ten seasons, the average attendance at each stadium was on par with the MLB. Following further MLB strikes and shutdowns in the 90's, the attendances at MLB games collapsed as fans switched to MLC replacing the MLB as America's favourite pass time.

In the early 90's, Minor League Cricket was formed to nurture the next generation of cricketers.

An interesting side note was the players called 'The Nomads'. These were ex-MLB players that changed trades to play in the MLC. One player Minnesota Twins short stop Alvaro Espinoza became one of the leading run makers in the early years of the league. A right hander he struck terror to various bowlers by hitting a record of over 254 6's in just one season and dismissing over 62 batsman with catches in his favoured position of 'slip'.

Much obliged!
 
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Nuclear Energy Corporation of Canada

Established: October 15, 1945
Headquarters: Deep River, Ontario, Canada
Employees: 11,822
Industries: Nuclear power reactor design, construction and maintenance, nuclear fuel fabrication, spent fuel reprocessing, isotope production

The descendant of 75 years of nuclear research in Canada, the Nuclear Energy Corporation of Canada is a major player in the world of power reactors as well as in designs, having developed the heavy-water reactors used by all Canadian nuclear power facilities, fabricating the fuel used by them and helping the operators of the reactors (Ontario Hydro, Hydro-Quebec, Alberta Power Systems, BC Hydro, Nova Scotia Electric, Jamaica Electric and Newfoundland Power) maintain and operate their reactors, as well as continue the design evolution of nuclear energy. Based on the grounds of the famed Chalk River Laboratories northwest of Ottawa, the company has been at the forefront of the development of nuclear technology since the days of the Manhattan Project and Tube Alloys, and Canada's nuclear weapons are almost entirely related to their work.

The story began with the Montreal Laboratory, the Anglo-Canadian nuclear research site began with the goal of developing weapons, but the ZEEP reactor's opening in 1945 - the first operating nuclear reactor outside of the United States - put them at the forefront of the technology, and the NRX and NRU reactors built in the 1940s and 1950s advanced the sciences further, as well as putting the company into the business of creating isotopes - and pioneering the use of cobalt-60 for medical diagnosis, which Canada did in 1951. The first test of British and Canadian nuclear weapons in 1952 and 1953 expanded nuclear weapons capability for both countries, even as by 1953 the company was devoted to the building of nuclear power reactors, including building the first power station in Canada, the Douglas Point Nuclear Generating Station, which began operation in April 1958.

Douglas Point proved troublesome in service, but NECC learned from that and developed the first full-scale CANDU reactors accordingly. The CANDU 500A reactor, which first began operation at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in 1966, was the first of the commercial reactor programs. Canada's nuclear power plant fleet was built first out of a desire to meet rapidly-rising energy demand in the 1950s and 1960s, then to replace many oil-fueled power plants in the 1970s. Expensive as the program ended up being, the building of the Pickering, Bruce, Lennox, Key Harbour, Columbia and Gentilly nuclear power plants in the 1960s and 1970s, followed by the Darlington, Point Lapreau, Lingan, Avalon, Gull Lake and Satsop facilities in the 1980s and the Fort McMurray, Lake Simcoe, Louiseville and Clarendon facilities in the 1990s resulted, when combined with the country's enormous hydro-electric power production, in the ability for most of Canada to phase out fossil-fuel electric power production in the 1980s and 1990s. The building of all of the facilities resulted in Canada by 2000 getting nearly 90% of its electricity from either hydroelectric or nuclear sources, and the country's massive power surplus resulted in vast amounts of it being sold to the United States starting in the 1990s, making the plant operators a fortune (and handily paying off the debts incurred from building the plants) and reducing carbon emissions on both sides of the border.

NECC wasn't unaware of the problems of spent fuel or cleanup difficulties - the accidents at the NRX in 1952 and NRU in 1958 taught them those lessons - and even as the power plant building boom was on in the 1970s and 1980s, the company was quick to work on the issues of spent fuel disposal, both for the plutonium - useful for Canada's nuclear weapons, of course - and for waste size reduction, recycling of spent fuel and the isotopes present in spent fuel. Both Gentilly and Pickering ran tests with recycled spent fuel in the early 1980s (in both cases with a considerable amount of success, though Pickering had issues with temperature control), but Canada in the 1980s agreed that the continued expansion of nuclear power usage worldwide relied on the ability to deal with the wastes left behind. NECC focused its initial efforts on PUREX reprocessing, but by the 1980s the problems with this (namely large amounts of leftover liquid wastes) were a major issue, and the NECC focused its later advancements on pyroprocessing, successfully developing the processes to remove more of the dangerous actinides and long-lived leftover products.

The company had initially done its fuel development and manufacturing at Chalk River, but as demand for the fuel grew, the company needed a new plant to keep up, resulting in the Elliot Lake Nuclear Fuel Facility being built between 1982 and 1986 in Elliot Lake, Ontario, originally built there for easy access to the region's uranium mines. (Later on, after the mines steadily closed in the 1990s, the reprocessing center became a major employer for the community.) The plant was the largest such facility in the world when completed in 1986, but despite this even it proved inadequate, and in the 1990s a second facility was opened by the company in Uranium City, Saskatchewan, once again taking advantage of local mines in the area.

By 2000, the sales of CANDU reactors outside of Canada had slowed, primarily owing to the higher capital cost of heavy-water reactors, but interest in them grew once again after the serious accident at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio in 2002, and absolutely exploded after the horrific Tohuku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan in March 2011, the latter which led to a serious accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Japan's east coast south of Sendai, Japan. While the catastrophic Chernobyl accident in April 1986 and the Davis-Besse accident in 2002 had made headlines, the cataclysm at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, adding to an already horrific natural disaster that claimed nearly 16,000 lives as it was. The Fukushima Daiichi disaster, however, saw the NECC make global headlines by offering to lead safety inspection efforts for Japan's other facilities - and its own expense - and responded to massive anti-nuclear protests around the world by offering to show off their facilities to anti-nuclear protesters (more than a few in Canada and the United States took them up on this) and going to considerable lengths to explain how the Canadian facilities were much different than others in the world, and loudly offering their designs for sale to anyone, anywhere, who wished to buy CANDU reactors for their safety record.

The efforts paid off. On September 22, 2012, the Kansai Electric Power Company announced that they had Japanese government approval to plan a new "safe nuclear fleet" and that they were wanting to negotiate terms with NECC on two new CANDU-9AS reactors to replace recently-shut down units at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant. As the two oldest Mihama reactors dated from the early 1970s it made sense to repalce the older units, and NECC actively worked with the company and its contractors to develop massively-reinforced structures for the facility, including 18-metre tsunami walls and building structures capable of withstanding a 9.5-magnitude earthquake, as well as multiple passive safety features. The company subsequently also bought new reactors to replace older ones at their Oi and Takahama facilities, in both cases replacing aged 1970s-era facilities. The Japan Electric Power Company followed suit, replacing its aged Tokai and Tsuruga facilities' reactors with CANDU-9AS units. The new Units 5 and 6 at Takahama were completed first, beginning power generation in May 2020, and the Japanese-designed improvements to the CANDU-9AS were subsequently backfitted to all of the older CANDU facilities. The operation was a remarkable success, but it wasn't the only portion of course - Canada's famed DART disaster-assistance teams had been among the first on the scene to assist in Japan after the tsunami, and Canadian businesses were among the many to jump in to assist Japan after the massive disaster. The efforts were also seen in the form of new offers from Great Britain, Israel, South Africa and Australia, all of which contributed to plans for new facilities.

The success was noticed at home, too. When Pickering A's license came up for renewal in 2014, NECC proposed a 20-year extension but promised work on replacement reactors at the site had already begun, and that by the time the license expired new facilities would be completed and operational. It was a sign of what was to come, as Gentilly and Columbia had the same situation come up shortly thereafter, and in all three cases the extensions were approved.

By 2020, the NECC, whose funding came about 80% from sales and services to other parastatals and private operators, employs nearly 12,000, the vast majority normally in Canada but in recent times the building of new facilities in Japan and the Commonwealth occupies a sizable portion of the company's workforce.
 
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Phil Roman Animation Studios
Founded:
June 23, 1977
HQ: Woodland Hills, CA

Known as being a starting point for various animators trying to break into bigger studios, this company has its roots in the early days of American animation's Silver Age. During this time, many of the veterans of animation's Golden Age had started retiring or training these successors. Nonetheless, many stalwarts like Ward Kimball of Disney and Chuck Jones of Warner Bros still soldiered on. Meanwhile, many studios that had downsized or shut down their animation studios in the 1960s were tarting to look at animation again, and give it a second chance.

Meanwhile, various changes took place at Disney, Warner Bros, and Paramount that led to the exile of many once-major animators. The first of these major shake-ups was when Wolfgang Reithermann, one of Disney's Nine Old Men, left in protest of Don Bluth becoming the main creative head of Disney's legendary animation department. At Warner Bros, animator Phil Roman, who had previously been a promising star, left after Warner Bros Animation finished production on their adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. Apparently, because he was dissatisfied with Warner Bros seeing their animation as less important despite its status as one of the "Big Three".

Fox saw this as a chance to re-enter animation in earnest. Soon, they went to both "Wolfie" and Phil with an offer - join Fox, and they'd make anything they pleased. Roman soon went looking for possible material that the studio could make into films or TV specials. Eventually, they settled on adaptation Garfield by Jim Davis. In the process making the TV specials and series Garfield & Friends - as well as the 1997 film Garfield's Judgement Day. Soon, many animators across the US were attracted to the company as a place where they could work on their pet projects in with enthusiastic superiors. Among these people were Disney animators Brad Bird and Tim Burton. Despite enjoying work under Don Bluth, they still felt a need to try to break out and form their own identity. Both men did so splendidly, and worked with Roman on a wide variety of different projects, including Tim Burton's dark short films.

Soon, the work of these animators attracted the attention of Hasbro, who was looking for a company that was willing to produce their toyetic content. Phil Roman, always eager to add to his company's portfolio, would go on to refine and improve the reputation of toyetic programming among the general product to something beyond "glorified commercials". Beyond these innovations however, they'd also attract a certain Matt Groening, who pitched The Simpsons - a program that was a massive critical and commercial hit. Meanwhile, Brad Bird also contributed to the studio's success with his 1997 cult classic The Iron Giant. Another TV classic came when Danny Anntonnuci came from Nickelodeon to pitch Ed, Edd, N Eddy. Today, Phil Roman still works on all sorts of projects for Fox. Wether it be animated films for programs like MLP:FiM for the Fox Network (naturally, it's produced entirely in LA instead of Vancouver).

Fox owns a 52% stake in Phil Roman, with Hasbro owning another 25% of said stake. The remaining 23% is owned by Phil Roman himself.

OOC: Loosely derived from the ideas @NoName and @OldNavy1988 permitted me to borrow from their respective animation TLs.
 
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Any thoughts on Alsthom America? Like possible expansions on the idea, or if Lima being their HQ is possible?
It's possible, but do bear in mind that the Lima plant was, as far as plants that produced locomotives go, fairly small - it's employment peaked at 4,300 during WWII, and for most of its history was more like 1,500 to 2,000 - and fairly remote from other facilities of the company. I kept Eddystone for EMD because they have a huge location there, something Lima hasn't got, and they don't really have room to expand. I can see the appeal of the plant, and it was open making cranes and construction equipment until the early 1980s so timeline-wise it is possible, but I'd advise that Alsthom may wish to use Lima as an engineering center and built a new location someplace.

As far as expansions to the idea, I'd be thinking that Alsthom may wish to not use SNCF designs but rather make their own, as European operations tend to be not as harsh on their equipment as North American ones are, and the last SNCF diesels built by Alsthom were designed in the 1960s. The idea of SACM diesels inside North American locomotives has merit (their largest V16 engines made 3550 hp, which would be plenty sufficient for American diesel locomotives of the 1970s and early 1980s), but the rest would require major changes to make work. What might be better for the Lima works in such a scenario is that the mass transit market does well in North America that the Citadis comes to North America, and that the Citadis cars for North America are built at Lima.
 
As far as expansions to the idea, I'd be thinking that Alsthom may wish to not use SNCF designs but rather make their own, as European operations tend to be not as harsh on their equipment as North American ones are, and the last SNCF diesels built by Alsthom were designed in the 1960s. The idea of SACM diesels inside North American locomotives has merit (their largest V16 engines made 3550 hp, which would be plenty sufficient for American diesel locomotives of the 1970s and early 1980s), but the rest would require major changes to make work. What might be better for the Lima works in such a scenario is that the mass transit market does well in North America that the Citadis comes to North America, and that the Citadis cars for North America are built at Lima.
Admittedly, the 6000NA and the Co-Co variation are mostly a new idea, though they do draw influence from Alstom's collaboration on the China Railway electrics like the HX-D2 and its variations.

In the case of the Citadis, I could actually see those in the Ohio urban areas if Pullman didn't already take over there.

That, and I did think of an alternate way to use the LLW site instead.
 
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In fact, what I may do is have Alsthom and Mitsubishi pool their resources together to create an American subsidiary that is based out of Lima, but with manufacturing operations elsewhere.
 
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