The Brose Group managed to expand its market position even further in fiscal 2014: by increasing sales by 10 percent to 5.1 billion euros, the company generated its highest turnover to date in the company's history. Impetus came from all three major automotive markets in Western Europe, North America and China.
In 2014, the family-owned company invested 265 million euros with a special focus on the development of new plants in Bremen, Melfi (Italy), East London (South Africa), New Boston (USA) and in its headquarters in Shanghai. The number of employees increased by 1,230 to around 23,000; in Germany, more than 200 new jobs were created. 110 young people started their vocational training with the automotive supplier. Investment in research and development and in staff training amounted to some 8 percent of turnover in 2014.
Growth in all product groups
Growing by more than 20 percent to 1.5 billion euros, the seat systems product group reported the strongest development compared to the previous year. Door systems business remained stable at a high level (2.7 billion euros) and the drives division increased its sales to 1.3 billion euros.
The surrounding area of Brose's Franconian sites in Coburg, Hallstadt and Würzburg also benefitted from the positive performance and received investments totaling about 88 million euros in 2014, mainly in manufacturing plants. The locations employed 6,970 people by the end of the year (up 3.6 percent), including 295 apprentices. In addition, Brose's suppliers employ about 3,000 people in the region.
Outlook: future growth primarily in North America and Asia
North America and Asia have continued to grow in importance for Brose. The family-owned company already generates about 50 percent of its turnover in these growth regions and plans further investments in strategically important locations in Mexico and China. In addition to new plants being set up in Eastern Europe and Brazil in 2015, the company is further expanding its production capacities in Coventry (England) and Changchun (China).
"Provided the automotive industry overseas remains stable, the Brose Group will again grow further in 2015," explains Jürgen Otto, CEO of the Brose Group. "We expect to expand our business by 10 percent."
To support the further development of the corporate group, the shareholders under the leadership of Chairman Michael Stoschek decided at their meeting to invest almost one billion euros by 2017. The bulk of this amount will be invested in the expansion and strengthening of the European locations, while 25 percent will be allocated to Asia and 15 percent to North America.
High investments in Germany
Brose is currently building an 18,000 square meter administrative building in Bamberg, which is due for completion by the end of 2015. In the first step, this will bring 600 employees from the purchasing, IT and development departments to the cathedral city. To help its employees balance work and family life, Brose will also offer a wide range of social benefits, health and sport programs.
In 2015, the automotive supplier plans to recruit around 180 professionals and specialists in Germany.
Entry into the bicycle business: Brose drive technology for e-bikes
Based on its experience as a market leader for electric motors in the automotive industry, Brose has developed a new kind of drive concept for e-bikes that can be fully integrated into the bicycle frame. Production commenced in July 2014 at Brose's motor plant in Berlin. The first e-bikes with Brose drive technology will be on sale from spring 2015. Brose is the only manufacturer to offer a bicycle motor with electronics "Made in Germany."