tesa filed a trademark application on May 28, 1954, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office added tesa to its register in July 1955. For 16 years, products were sold via the Hamburg headquarters. A new affiliate, the tesa corporation, was founded in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1971. It was dedicated to “importing and selling tesa products,” as the founding record states. The tesa corporation moved to Denville, 30 miles away, in 1977, and presented its tapes at a packaging trade fair in Chicago for the first time.
tesa went on to make a giant leap in 1982, when the company opened its plant in Sparta, Michigan. The new plant was the first production site for adhesive tapes outside Europe. The new administrative building was dedicated in 1984, followed not long afterward by an expansion of the warehouse capacity. Beiersdorf acquired Technical Tape, Inc. (TTI), an American tape manufacturer, in 1988, which boosted U.S. sales for the tesa division from about 15 million to 90 million euros and made the company the number-two provider in North America. The “Tuck” range of products attracted particular attention in the retail segment, as the company used the “Tuck” brand to market transparent adhesive tapes and masking, packing, and specialty tapes for a time.
The plant in Sparta still supplies industrial customers with tapes produced on-site and those that undergo the final converting process here. Today, some 60 employees produce adhesive tapes for the general industrial market, particularly for the regional automotive industry. Almost all the major car manufacturers based in North America have headquarters and development centres located in close proximity to the plant.