BWI Cheb Plant Ground-breaking, September 23, 2015
Cheb, Czech Republic, September 23 2015 – BeijingWest Industries, also known as BWI Group (hereafter referred as “BWI”), today broke ground for building a brand new automotive suspension product manufacturing plant in the city of Cheb, a small but fast growing community in the Czech Republic less than one hour’s drive from Germany, where many of BWI’s customers reside.
“Picking Cheb as the site of choice out of many options is the result of in-depth research and analysis on the part of BWI’s management,” said John Beres, assistant president of BWI in charge of plant operation and manufacturing. He added that another major contributing factor is the pro-business terms offered by the Czech government development agencies.
As its business continues to grow and current facilities are bursting at the seams in the European area, BWI is encouraged by stakeholders to seek a second location in Europe/UK for manufacturing passenger vehicle dampers. The Cheb plant, being the 3rd one and the newest BWI plant in Europe and the 2nd plant for dampers manufacturing, will occupy an area of about 15,000 sq. meters and at full production it will hire between 300-320 people, white collar and blue collar combined. The construction work will complete by end of May 2016 and production starts at the beginning of 2017, after equipment installation and adjustment.
John said BWI’s state of the art technical center in Krakow, Poland, will be the main technical support center for the new plant in the Czech Republic. Krakow is within driving distance to Cheb
Acquired from Delphi corporation, BWI’s current business consists of include Brakes (ABS, ESC, calipers, rotors, knuckles, corner modules, drum brakes, boosters and master cylinders) and Suspension (conventional struts and shock absorbers, MR struts and shocks, damper modules, MR powertrain mounts, air suspension modules and air leveling systems, active stabilizer bar system, roll control systems), according to Tom Gold, vice president of operations, who leads both engineering and production worldwide.
He said that the company’s five-year plan calls for a 50% rise in dampers production between now and Year 2020, adding that this type of growth will require expansion of capacity at each of the existing plants, plus the creation of the current, new suspension damper plant. Building the new plant in a different country will also make BWI more reliable as a tier-1 supplier.
Even before the start of ground-breaking, hiring already started. Now in place are an HR manager, and a Finance manager…Initial supporting work has already started in both Ohio, United States and Krakow, Poland.
BWI is rated highly is the industry for its suspension products, especially in controlled damping system. The group designs and manufactures conventional twintube struts and shock absorbers, conventional monotube shock absorbers, and MagneRide controlled suspension struts and shocks. Several types of conventional valve system designs are available, enabling BWI to tune for the ride control and comfort sought by customers such as Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Land Rover, Mini, Opel, PSA and Volvo. Low mass features are also in production, which help reduce fuel consumption and production of CO2. MagneRide uses a type of “intelligent fluid”, magnetorheological fluid, to provide the quickest damping response time in the automotive suspension industry. MR enables a vehicle to have both a comfortable ride and the type of performance and control needed in demanding handling conditions. Customers such as Acura, Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, GMC, Lamborghini and Land Rover have chosen BWI’s MagneRide to provide the ultimate in ride & handling in vehicles as diverse as sports cars, luxury sedans, large and small SUVs and crossovers.
Passive suspension products, being the work horse of vast majority of passenger vehicles, are also very strong in BWI’s offer. BWI manufactured struts and shock absorbers are installed in BMW, all MINIs, Land Rover, Audi, Opel, Volvo and Ferrari vehicles. Their twin tube and monotube passive dampers provide high levels of quality, engineering service and technology. Some of the advanced features in production today are designs that improve the comfort and handling characteristics of the vehicle, reduce mass and therefore fuel consumption and emission, and specialized valving design families that enable each vehicle manufacturer to tune their struts and shock absorbers to achieve the particular ride and handling behavior that matches their brand character.
“Since taking over from Delphi Ride Dynamics in late 2009, BWI has exerted efforts in retaining and developing technical talents and work force so that it can handle tougher customer demands, both in performances and in price,” said Jiang Yunan, President of BWI.
Jiang, age 53 and has years of experience as a business executive in Shougang Corporation, a China 100 state owned enterprise, said that BWI is owned by Shougang Corporation as majority shareholder and Fangshan State Assets Management body the other and that the top leadership of BWI and the investors are all committed to continue growing the company and making it a premier brand in automotive chassis products. In particular, he said, they strongly support further expand BWI’s passive suspension manufacturing capacity in the European region through setting up a new plant in Cheb so that the customers be served even better and, through efforts of all BWI employees, achieve even better balanced market footprints in Europe, China and North America.
“Our revenue will surpass 900 million US dollars this year, in spite of the market difficulties, as compared with 2009, the year the company was taken over, when the enterprise had about 600 million US dollars only in receipts,” said Jiang.
BWI has manufacturing footprints in the UK, Poland, Mexico, Shanghai and Beijing. It also has tech centers and customer services centers in Europe, North America and Asia. A total of over 5,000 people work for BWI.
To take advantage of the market opportunities, BWI started injecting its European assets into BWI International listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. BWI International, widely accepted by investors in the region, will serve as the investment entity of the Cheb plant and will ensure strong finance support to the endeavor. With the new plant goes into production two years some 16 months from now, BWI International will capture more market attention and confidence and thus help BWI meet its long-term, strategic goals.