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Industrial park lures AutoTrim

Another local manufacturer has announced plans to move to the Airport Industrial Park.

AutoTrim Express Inc. of Brooksville plans to construct a 7,000-square-foot building at the industrial park. The company, started in 1991, creates and sells airbrushed graphics for cars and recreational vehicles. It employs 15 workers, although owners Randy and Yvonne Marmet said they probably will hire six more when the building is completed.

"This will allow us to double or triple our output," Randy Marmet said. The company now produces 600 kits a day. AutoTrim sells the kits to wholesale warehouses nationwide, who then sell the kits to local professional installers. The graphics are generally placed on new cars and retail for about $225 per graphic.

"(AutoTrim Express graphics) can be installed in 10-15 minutes, instead of 45 minutes," like other graphic trim, Marmet said. The graphics are airbrushed by hand and placed on large plastic sheets. Professional installers simply transfer the graphic from the sheet to the vehicle.

AutoTrim's owners announced their intentions at a meeting of the county's Economic Development Commission, which helped the company through the negotiations. Previously, the EDC had referred to the company as Project Tokyo for confidentiality purposes. EDC director Richard Michael said the name was inspired by the Marmets' recent trip to Japan for negotiations with Toyota Corp.

AutoTrim Express is the second local company in the last two months to announce plans to build near the airport. Recently, PAR International, a Brooksville electrical circuit company, agreed to build a 20,000-square-foot building in an expansion of the current industrial park.

AutoTrim operates out of three small buildings on Chambord Street. After the move into the new building at the industrial park, the company plans to expand its building another 7,000-square-feet within the next two years.

The company was attracted to the industrial park property because of the expansion possibilities, said Yvonne Marmet, the company's vice president. She said AutoTrim could expand its building up to 30,000 square feet.

While the company has expanded greatly since it was first founded by the Marmets seven years ago, competitors are starting to recognize the profitability of AutoTrim's efforts. Still, the couple say they're not worried.

"All of our competitors are now following us," Randy Marmet said. "While we're a small company, this is the only thing we do. It's our niche . . . and we do it better than anybody."