GEALAN AWARDED 100-MILLION-EURO ORDERFrankenpost, 20/9/2016, Business
Automaker BMW chooses Upper Franconians. They won out against tough competitors in a hard-fought market.
Oberkotzau - The GEALAN Group from Oberkotzau near Hof has been awarded the largest order in the company’s history. Premium car manufacturer BMW has contracted the Upper Franconians to produce parts for its 1 series models: gloveboxes, cockpit and rear vehicle panel components. The order encompasses a volume of 100 million euros over a span of seven years, said GEALAN Managing Directors Thomas Fickenscher and Gerhard Laubmann in an interview with our newspaper on Tuesday.
This “huge order” will bring GEALAN, a specialist in technical injection moulded parts and assemblies, “much closer” to its customer BMW, they said. The company opened an office on Leopoldstraße in Munich on 1 August. The location is only a ten-minute walk from the BMW Group’s Research and Innovation Center (FIZ). At least two specialists from Upper Franconia are permanently assigned to the Bavarian capital to ensure direct contact with BMW’s representatives.
The company faced some tough competition before being awarded this order. “The market is hard-fought and there is tremendous competition, especially in the Czech Republic,” says Thomas Fickenscher. His colleague Gerhard Laubmann stresses the benefits of its location in Oberkotzau. “We are located right between Leipzig and Regensburg, which gives us a great logistical advantage.” Leipzig and Regensburg are where BMW builds its 1 series vehicles. However, the Upper Franconians also profited from the tremendous development expertise bundled in GEALAN CAXsolutions. Moreover, the comprehensive test options available in the company’s own laboratory and the Automobiltechnikum Bayern (ATB) in Hof also give them a substantial edge.
GEALAN is expanding. The company currently forecasts revenues of nearly 75 million euros. That is about ten percent more than in 2015. The latest high-volume order from BMW also promises double-digit growth in the coming years, the company added. This will have an impact on the number of employees. GEALAN currently employs a good 600 people – up by around 50 compared to last year. GEALAN also has close to 50 temporary employees, they added, and is blazing the trail when it comes to technical training for new recruits. Vocational training curricula is greatly enhanced by a collaboration with Technische Berufsbildung GmbH in Bayreuth, note the two chief executives. “This ensures standardized training for all of our trainees. That means that everyone learns the same thing, regardless of their training year.”
However, Fickenscher and Laubmann admit that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find highly qualified employees. This also applies to apprentices, especially in the commercial sector.
GEALAN’s Hungarian subsidiary Hungary-Plast recently achieved remarkable success. Lutz Fischer and Gabor Dömsödi, the managing directors there, signed an agreement with a direct supplier outlining joint projects for “front-end modules” and air valve controls. The parts will then be installed in Porsche, Mercedes and Audi vehicles, say Fickenscher and Laubmann.
The Oberkotzau-based company literally let their voices be heard recently with their own in-house GEALAN band. They rocked a well-attended concert for a good cause.
There is tremendous competition, especially in the Czech Republic.
GEALAN Managing Director Thomas Fickenscher
Our location gives us a great logistical advantage.
GEALAN Managing Director Gerhard Laubmann
A good 600 employees
Established in 1985, the GEALAN Group develops and produces technical injection moulded parts and assemblies. The family-owned business comprises four operating companies. It offers comprehensive engineering services from development to the finished component and uses innovative processes to produce and finish technical plastic parts and components. Development results and products can be found worldwide in most premium cars and in the heating and hot water sector. GEALAN forecasts revenues of approx. 74.2 million euros for 2016 and currently employs over 600 people.
Author: By Dieter Weigel
Article: http://www.frankenpost.de/regional/wirtschaft /Gealan-holt-sich-100-Millionen-Auftrag;art2448,5096155