New MD at Brose plant in Coventry
• Thomas Kohlbauer takes over at Brose UK
• Plans for plant expansion in Coventry
International automotive supplier Brose has appointed Thomas Kohlbauer as the new managing director of its UK operations. He succeeds Steve Wilkins who has left to head up Brose’s operations in Canada.
Thomas Kohlbauer has taken over responsibility for the Brose manufacturing plant on the Bayton Road Industrial Estate in Exhall.
His focus in the coming year will be the major expansion programme of Brose UK. The family-owned company – a specialist in mechatronic systems and electric motors – recently announced a £7 million expansion which will see the creation of more than 250 new jobs at the site.
This is a very exciting time for our UK plant,” says Kohlbauer, “I am keen to drive the company forward. We are growing our staff to around 500 by 2015 as well as doubling the size of our premises.”
After 16 years working for the company in his native Germany and building up a joint venture for Brose in Japan, Kohlbauer is well prepared for his new task.
The mechanical engineer began his industrial career in the quality department at the Brose headquarters in Coburg (Germany). From 1999 he was Quality Director for door systems.
In 2004 he was appointed president of a Brose joint venture in Japan before returning to Germany in 2010. Kohlbauer holds two degrees – a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA for which he studied at the Graduate School of Business Administration in Zurich (Switzerland) and the State University of New York (USA).
The new managing director’s forecast for Brose’s UK operations: “The automotive industry is thriving and the outlook is very favourable. The Coventry plant is in a period of major growth and we want to ensure that is for the long as well as medium term.”
Brose in Coventry
In 1989, the Coventry plant was the first Brose production site to be established outside Germany. Located in the West Midlands, the plant produces window regulators and seat adjusters for Ford, Land Rover, Jaguar, Toyota and Volvo.
Brose is a partner to the international automotive industry, supplying some 80 makes of car and more than 30 suppliers with mechatronic systems and electric motors. Approximately 20,000 people work for Brose at 52 locations in 23 countries in all the major automotive markets worldwide.
In the 2011 business year, the corporate group generated a turnover of around 4 billion euros. Brose is currently the fifth largest family-owned company among the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide.