Germany’s Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg began his IAA-tour on September 24th 2009 by visiting the automotive supplier Brose. The politician was accompanied by Hans Michelbach, a member of the German parliament, as well as Dr. Thomas Schlick, head of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), and Dr. Kay Lindemann, VDA coordinator for political activity in Brussels and Berlin.
The minister who comes from Franconia was pleased that the Upper Franconian company of Brose was the first of three suppliers he visited during his tour of the motor show. Talking to Michael Stoschek (Chairman of the Brose Group) and Jürgen Otto (CEO of the Brose Group), Guttenberg said he was “very impressed by what I can see here.” He added: “Its innovation strength has been a hallmark of this remarkable company for decades. And I recognize that we do indeed have a world market leader in Upper Franconia with Brose ranking time and time again at the top. It is vital to support such an enterprise.”
Responding to Michael Stoschek’s invitation to visit the corporate group’s Upper Franconian headquarters in Coburg, Guttenberg agreed to do so “with great pleasure.” As Stoschek said, the current crisis was no reason for Brose to stay away from the IAA. With the motor segment it acquired from Continental AG, the company now has, in addition to its traditional product areas of doors and seats, a number of new, particularly contemporary products: “Motors for engine cooling, climate control, steering and clutch, which are lighter and more energy efficient, thus helping to reduce consumption. It goes without saying that we wished to present these products in Frankfurt to our customers.”
Stoschek continued: “Financial stability and innovative capability, interest in cutting edge products and modern manufacturing methods are important in times of crisis.” Germany’s Economic Minister shared this view:” Whoever believes they can dodge the crisis and evade ongoing competition has already lost out. That’s why it’s important to regard the crisis as an opportunity – and this is indeed what’s happening at Brose in a particular way.”
Jürgen Otto explained that he was very satisfied with how the fair was going and made an initial review:” We had 30 percent more visitors from the automotive sector who were very keen to view our products and we conducted some very interesting discussions with our customers.”
Otto advocated offsetting the decline in sales resulting from the economic situation with new products. “We are not going to just wait and see what happens – quite the contrary. We will a launch a product campaign in new markets with new products and we are confident that we will remain successfully on track.