Responsibility in young years
The seventies are a decade of upheaval and new organization for the company, setting the course for the future. This is triggered off by the second generation change in the company’s history: When Michael Stoschek takes over in October 1971 at the age of 23, the company has around 1000 employees and is generating turnover of 55 million DM. Over the next three and a half decades, he is confronted by the energy crises of the sixties and eighties; he also has to face the greatest challenge of increasing globalization.
The individual seat adjustments
Brose is the first producer in Europe to develop and manufacture power seat adjusters. Beginning in 1979, Mercedes opts for this future-oriented innovation, equipping the S Class with these products. Electromechanics enable the height, length and tilt adjustment of the seat. Later the product scope will be extended to include backrest and headrest adjustments. Other customers include Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Fiat, Ford, Jaguar, Saab and Volvo.
Comfort and safety
Brose’s development of the world’s first electronic control-unit for power window regulators in 1986 paved the way for moving into the field of mechatronics: apart from its express up and central closing/opening comfort functions, the electronic “anti-trap feature” has sensors to detect obstacles, allowing the closing window to stop and reverse.
Today, this technology has become a worldwide standard.
The key to success
With its modular vehicle door, Brose ventures into new territory in terms of technology and logistics; the concept is first used in the Audi 80 Coupé in 1987. Brose proceeds not only to develop and produce the most important door components, but also to integrate them into a complete system using sophisticated logistics to ensure that the pre-tested products are ready on schedule for installation at the car manufacturer’s assembly line. Once again, Brose plays a pioneering role in the market.
The markets are growing together; supply and demand know no geographic boundaries. Anyone who wants to be successful in the automotive business has to operate internationally.
At the end of the eighties, Brose establishes its first two foreign production sites in England and Spain.
In 1993, the first manufacturing facility on the American continent comes into operation in Querétaro/Mexico. In the following years, sales and engineering offices are set up in Detroit, Tokyo and Paris.
When Brose's manufacturing capacities in Germany reach their limits, the shareholders decide to set up another production site. Established in 1997, the plant in Meerane/Saxony is the first location for producing and supplying door systems sequenced to the car manufacturer’s production schedule and delivered directly to its assembly line. This location is to become a pioneer in the years ahead for all subsequent JIS plants of the Brose Group in Germany and abroad.
In the course of further expansion, Brose develops a standardized corporate design to be implemented at facilities worldwide. Openness and transparency are company principles which apply to leading and working together; they are equally reflected in the architecture of the buildings.
The Brose Arbeitswelt
Employees at all locations work in an almost identical environment in line with the same organizational models, subsequently saving costs in administration and development as well as increasing the efficiency and motivation of the employees.
Systematic closure technology
Brose latch modules combine the door latch, inside handle and all mechanical and power connections into one sub-assembly, resulting in less effort when opening and less noise when closing the door as well as improved anti-theft protection. Delivery as a pre-tested unit shortens installation time at the car
manufacturer’s assembly line.
Through the acquisition of the closure system business from Bosch in 2002, Brose again extends its competence in the vehicle door.
Competitiveness in a global market
The competitive edge gained by Brose through its innovative capabilities, high quality and efficient project management has to be enhanced in this era of globalization, particularly in the high-wage country of Germany, by achieving even greater cost effectiveness: whether in the further development of products, global sourcing, personnel costs or in the constant optimization of manufacturing processes.
Change in leadership
When Michael Stoschek hands over the CEO post - after more than 34 years at the helm - to Jürgen Otto in 2005, the company closes on its most successful year ever: Brose generates a turnover of 2.2 billion euros and approx. 8,900 employees work at 37 locations in 19 countries.
The appointment of Jürgen Otto, who has 15 years of experience in various managerial functions at the company, means that, for the first time ever, there is a non-family member running the company; nevertheless it still underscores the continuity and long-term perspective of the Brose Group.
Focus on weight reduction
Over the decades, Brose’s consistent lightweight design has contributed toward optimizing vehicle weight and reducing CO² emissions. By using alternative materials like plastic or high-strength steel coupled with a high degree of component integration, Brose reduces the weight of today’s vehicles by several kilograms: one such example is the plastic door system with integrated window regulator guide rails.