Trinity Industries was the first human "mega-corporation", a multi-billion dollar conglomerate made up of over a half-dozen branches specializing in areas such as medicine and computer programming. The company was formed in 2052 by British entrepreneur Nicholas Armstrong and helmed by him until his death in 2113. His successor, Nathan Liberman, quickly reshaped the company following the First Contact War, putting more resources into the branches devoted to arms and interplanetary travel. Under Lieberman's lead Trinity saw a massive increase in sales both on Earth and in the galactic market, quickly becoming known for its high quality and innovative products.
Armstrong Era: 2052--2113Edit
Originally known as Armstrong Industrial, Trinity Industries began its existence as a small business based in London which sold construction supplies to firms in the European Union and select areas of the North American Union. Nicholas Armstrong's company remained relatively small in size until 2047, when development in Asia began to grow at a fever pitch. Having studied abroad in Asia during his college years Armstrong had several good friends in major cities such as New Calcutta and Beijing, and due to these connections Armstrong Industrial became the number one supplier of steel, titanium and synthetic materials in the Asian market. As his small company grew into a major corporation Armstrong made sure to invest in other companies in numerous and highly varied fields. This mentality would become the foundation for the infamous "Armstrong Strong Arm".
The "Armstrong Strong Arm" refers to the collapse of the European and North American stock markets in 2051. Having devoted millions to businesses in these markets Nicholas Armstrong was keen to keep his investments safe. He did so by buying out two of the companies he had been backing: Knight's Armament Company, and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical. Combining them with Armstrong Industrial the corporation took on the name Trinity Industries. However, as the global market worsened Armstrong continued his program of aggressive purchasing and conglomerating, and by December of 2052 Trinity had acquired Apple Incorporated, Mercedes-Benz, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the 3M Company. The move was both criticized and commended by the media, proponents pointing to the increased revenues of all branches after joining Trinity Industries while those against it argued that the "mega-corporation", as it had come to be called, threatened to become a destructive monopoly. Armstrong, a man known for a lightheartedness which contrasted the ferocity of his business dealings, was quoted as saying:
- "Critics of my company have made several arguments against me. They have said that I am too aggressive in my strategies. They have said that it is not possible for a man to build a corporation as quickly as I have through legal activities. And they have said that my company threatens to become a dangerous monopoly. And while I disagree with the first two statements, it is the third that hurts me the most. Having played the game Monopoly since I was a little boy I can tell you that Trinity Industries is NOT a monopoly, and I urge my opponents to check the rulebook if they think otherwise!"
- ―Nicholas Armstrong, New Years Day Broadcast 2053
When the market finally stabilized in the summer of 2053 Armstrong was lauded as a hero by the majority of the world's media organizations and received the honor of being named "Time Magazine's Person of the Year" two years in a row, the first person to ever receive such an award. During his tenure as CEO and Chairman Nicholas Armstrong brought personality and amiability to his organization, and as one employee recalled:
- "He felt like a father to me... to all of us really. Heck, I remember him coming into the New York office on 'Bring Your Child to Work Day' and playing with my little Sammy and the other employees' kids for hours once he'd finished with his meetings. I've never worked under a man like him and I doubt I ever will."
- ―Anonymous Trinity Industries employee, 2077
Armstrong's policies in the office reflected his own personal beliefs in charity and civil service. It was not uncommon for the wealthy entrepreneur to donate millions of dollars at a time to a particular charity, and he started several internship funds within Trinity Industries that continued throughout the company's history. In terms of civil service, no example proves his commitment better than his famed trip to the Venezuelan conflict zone in 2084, when he personally demonstrated Trinity Armament's revolutionary EXCALIBUR battle armor system by wearing it himself and taking two assault rifle rounds to the gut at a distance of only 50 meters. Such was Armstrong's policy of leading: to do so by example, with "sincerity and doubtless conviction as he so aptly put it himself.
However, despite advances in medical science and a lifestyle of physical fitness with a strict diet by 2105 Nicholas Armstrong's health began to dwindle, and although he retained his position as chairman in 2106 the role of CEO was passed down to then-head of Trinity Pharmaceuticals Nathan Lieberman, who Armstrong referred to as "calm, collective, and so cold I need to turn up the heat a few degrees every time he steps into the room." Armstrong's last public demonstration was also in 2106, when he showed off a new weapon system to North American special forces: the MAGPRO assault rifle. Short for magnetic propulsion, the MAGPRO system was the first example of gauss weaponry ever produced by humans and came over 50 years before the First Contact War. And although the weapon was not picked up by the North American Union it was Armstrong's last great example of the revolutionary progress Trinity Industries had made under his watch. It was an excellent ending to an incredible legacy.
Lieberman Era: 2113--2157Edit
Nathan Lieberman's time as CEO of Trinity Industries began on a decidedly sour footing. Without Armstrong, the so-called "father of modern business", at the helm investors began to pull their support for the company, and stocks saw their first major slump in several decades. Lieberman, an even more aggressive businessman than his predecessor, immediately began to change the focus of the corporation, placing more emphasis on Trinity Armaments and Trinity Aerospace (later Trinity Intergalactic.) In 2121 Lieberman's efforts paid off in a big way, with the European Union picking up the prototype R-11 Raptor Stealth Fighter/Bomber and the purchase of military licensing for the DAVID Tactical Micro Thermobaric Weapon. Those who had been originally put off by Trinity's new head immediately returned to the company, and profits began increasing in the same manner they had under Armstrong.
Another similarity between the two men was how often they spent time with employees or at charity functions, but while Lieberman took part in such events his main motivation was more to uphold a good public image rather than doing so out of the goodness of his heart. For him every facet of public life served the company, and although this made him second best in the eyes of those who had been acquainted with the late Nicholas Armstrong Lieberman upheld the values set up by his predecessor with respect. On example of this was Lieberman's continued support of the One World, One Goal charity, both donating to the organization and hosting several of its annual galas in the garden of his lavish California mansion home. Lieberman also continued Armstrong's series of public weapon and technology demonstrations, often visiting troops both in bases at home and on the front lines around the world. For these reasons Trinity Industries was voted "Number 1 is customer satisfaction and support" by a variety of critics during the Lieberman era, an honor the corporation wore with pride.
Just when it seemed that there was no room left for improvement Trinity saw its greatest boost in years: the discovery of the Prothean cache on Mars. Already allied with major governments around the world, Trinity Industries began raking in even more money from government business with the formation of the Systems Alliance. Its friendship with the new government also allowed the company premier access to the information found in the cache, and soon Trinity began experimentation with all sorts of new technology. This period in 2148 was one of the few times CEO Lieberman showed visible excitement, and he commented in one interview:
- "What we have discovered on Mars is quite possibly the single greatest discovery in human history. Compared with this cache fire is a cheap magic trick and the wheel a passing gimmick. For the first time we are able to break all of our preconceived notions of what is and is not possible in the realm of reality. This is the stuff of science fiction, and to live it is an opportunity we cannot pass up."
- ―Nathan Lierberman, commenting on the discovery of the Prothean cache on Mars
Towards the end of 2148 Trinity Aerospace, now officially renamed Trinity Intergalactic, was successfully testing new faster-than-light hyperdrive technology, the first step towards modern space-faring vessels. Weapons technology also saw a significant boost, and a prototype for a ship mounted mass accelerator cannon underwent secondary revisions in January of 2149. In 2153 Lieberman made a special televised broadcast in which he reveled to the public just how much progress had been made in the five years since the cache's discovery. The license to the first element zero powered space vessel, the Ascension class frigate, had just been purchased by the Systems Alliance along with licensing to severals models of mass accelerator cannons of differing sizes. Preliminary work had begun on employing mass effect technology in small arms, and the MAGPRO project--now renamed MARS (or Mass Accelerator Rifle System)--was online and making headway.