Flexibility, Visibility, Transparency Hasten InnovationThu, 09/01/2016 - 14:46
Q: How do Brose’s Mexican operations impact its global approach?
A: The company’s growth has accelerated enormously and our level of investment has kept pace. After 21 years, Brose now has seven manufacturing plants in North America. Three are located in Mexico, one in Canada and three in the US supporting our headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Brose El Marques, our largest plant in Mexico, was a significant investment for the company in 2009 and is dedicated to the manufacturing of electric motors, including drivetrain actuators, power steering motors, window regulators, ABS motors, heating and air conditioning motors, as well as engine cooling fan modules. The Brose Group is planning to build a new manufacturing facility named Brose Aeropuerto, which will exclusively produce seat frames. This will become our largest seat plant in North America and will be vastly different from our current operations as it requires a special emphasis on safety standards.
Brose Mexico exports more than 50 percent of its products to the US, Asia and Europe. We have been audited by most OEMs that enter Mexico leading us to secure business with Audi, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen and GM, among others. Brose’s investments in countries including Mexico and China will continue, as well as its investments in emerging unexploited markets.
Q: How does Brose’s innovation give the company a competitive advantage over other manufacturers?
A: Mexico has evolved from its previous position as a manufacturing hub toward generating stronger technological added value, leading Brose Mexico to develop as a center for design. Brose El Marques is equipped with a testing laboratory where we create and test new products on a regular basis. We developed an intelligent system that improves Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) performance while reducing vehicles' weight. Another key to our competitiveness is our workforce. We have been able to spread the German mindset of flexibility, visibility and transparency among our Mexican employees, ensuring quality and consistency worldwide.
Q: What type of expertise is required to be part of Brose’s team?
A: We need academic institutions to develop professionals who will meet industry needs. The benefits of the German dual-educational system encouraged us to implement it in Mexico. Brose has already offered its help and facilities to Queretaro’s Ministry of Education, which had a positive impact. We are trying to replicate our German model encompassing every professional field in the industry,including human resources, mechatronics technicians, financial experts and environmental system experts. We have 40 students that split their time between Brose’s installations and their universities to strengthen their knowledge. Teacher training delivered in-house or at universities combined with long-term internships give students the opportunity to hone their skills over time. We also invest in international exchange programs to attract promising talent from everywhere in the world. Brose also held a Talent Day here in Queretaro. This was a two-day technological and cultural event highlighting the possibilities offered by Brose and a few other German companies from a career-path standpoint.
Q: How is Brose adapting its technology to cope with emerging trends such as electric and hybrid vehicles?
A: The increasing pace of technological innovation is profoundly changing our lives. Mobility's social significance is growing worldwide and so too are demands placed on vehicles. Brose’s engineers work in interdisciplinary teams to meet these expectations and shape the mobility of tomorrow and beyond, enhancing comfort and efficiency. Electrification is one of the keys to greater efficiency and Brose’s motors play an important role in enabling it. Recently, Brose El Marques was awarded the production of a large oil pump for a North American OEM with its launch scheduled for 2018. This plant will be the sole producer of this component. The pump works through “coasting,” which allows the engine to turn off when not needed. Our product takes over to maintain oil pressure in the transmission until the main pump resumes operation. This significantly reduces emissions and fuel consumption.