Thomas Kohlbauer
Russ Cockburn

Member Article

Brose UK sets out £15m investment drive

A global automotive supplier is reinforcing its commitment to the West Midlands this year by investing £15m into new technology and the latest automation.

Brose UK, a German family-owned specialist of mechatronic systems and electric motors, is embarking on a major expansion programme at its Coventry plant that will help it meet increases in new orders and volumes.

The company is also planning to take its workforce from 190 to 280 over the next twelve months, including continuing to support 14 apprentices in their training and development.

Thomas Kohlbauer, Managing Director, commented: “2013 will be an exciting and challenging year for Brose UK, as we look to build on recent investments in the UK automotive industry and a growing desire to introduce new models here.”

He continued: “Our success stems from creating long-term working partnerships with our customers and the investments we are making now and in coming years will ensure we remain a key element of a world-class manufacturing supply chain.”

Coventry was Brose’s first production facility outside of Germany, which was established in 1989.

From its 11,000 sq metre facility on Colliery Lane, the company manufactures a range of window regulators and adjuster systems for front and rear seats, with the latter individually configured for every vehicle model. Current customers include Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and Volvo.

World class lean manufacturing processes are employed across the shopfloor and the latest robotics, testing equipment and laser welding technology allow the firm to stay at the forefront of industry advancements.

“Every car maker and tier 1 is looking to take weight out of the vehicle and this is something we can help them achieve,” explained Kohlbauer, who joined Brose UK in July 2012, after holding senior positions at Brose Japan and at the company’s headquarters in Germany.

“As a group we invest significantly in new materials, new technologies and new processes and this has helped secure between 30% - 50% weight reductions across our product range.”

Another major aim for Brose UK in 2013 is to increase the content of locally sourced components in its systems.

This has already seen the recruitment of two new UK suppliers, including one company based in the West Midlands.

Kohlbauer concluded: “Sourcing locally will allow us to stay competitive and reduces the exchange rate risk even further. We expect the very best from our local suppliers and a commitment, from both parties, to develop long-term partnerships.”

Globally, Brose has more than 21,000 employees in 53 locations across 23 countries and supplies more than 80 brands and 30 suppliers with mechatronic systems for vehicle body and interior. It is currently the fourth-largest family-owned company among the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide.

You will find more information about the Brose Group at: www.brose.com

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Russ Cockburn .

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