Detroit is known as the epicenter of the US auto industry. But it is also a city with strong global links, according to Laurent Bresson, president and director of global operations Nexteer Automotive.
"Within a radius of 50 miles, has all the international executives from the automotive industry, and is so connected community," Bresson said. "That's a positive side that frankly do not see anywhere else in the world."
The combination of legacy Detroit auto and touch seems made to order for a company of Michigan 109 years old, led by a French executive and owned by Chinese investors internationally.
Formerly a division of General Motors GM -1.18% and its spinoff, Delphi Corp., Nexteer was bought by Pacific Century Motors based in China 465 million US dollars in 2010.
"Since then we have really been experiencing astronomical growth worldwide," Bresson said.
The manufacturer of steering systems and advanced driver line expanded its global workforce of 7,700 in 2009 to 11,000 in 2014, said Luis Canales, director of corporate affairs Nexteer. US workforce of the company rose from 3,000 to 5,000 during the same time, Canales said, including the addition of 90 engineers in 2014 and hire at least 65 new employees in 2015.
Nexteer also launched an initial public offering of $ 260 million on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in late 2013, and completed a bond offering $ 250 million last year. The company ended 2014 with $ 2.98 billion in revenue, a 25 percent jump over the previous year.
To feed its strong growth cycle, the company will continue to seek new innovations and technologies, investing in research and development and invest in capital expenditures worldwide, Bresson said.
These investments allow Nexteer to win additional business from existing customers and win new business in emerging markets. For example, last year launched Nexteer brush support column electric power steering (EPS) tailored for the Chinese market. Today, the company provides direction for all minivans in China, Bresson said.
Nexteer is also leading converting industry for hydraulic power steering, allowing automakers to both fuel economy and reduce emissions increase, the company said.
"We have a strong portfolio, enabling us to direct all cars, a compact city car to a full-size heavy truck," Bresson said. Nexteer is currently directing October 9 full-size pickups in North America, he added.
With strong demand in North America and China, the company currently has a backlog that will be in production in the next two to three years $ 9 billion, Bresson said.
In 2016, the company based in Saginaw plans to create new global headquarters in northern Detroit. The move will allow Nexteer be closer to its customers and suppliers as well as important industry conferences and networking events.
Seven automakers are headquartered in the Detroit area and around 60 of the leading automotive suppliers in North America, Bresson said. "The concentration of experience and leadership in the metropolitan Detroit area automotive industry is really incredible," he said.
Nexteer next chapter will use these connections to increase growth and global brand awareness of your company. The company also sees an opportunity in the evolution of self-driving cars, for which management plays a key role. "Certainly, we are focused on capturing our fair share of the market opportunity," Bresson said.
Prototype car with self-driving Google hit the road this summer, and automakers such as Audi, Mercedes and Nissan introduction of self-driving features such as lane keeping assistance and automatic braking, Bresson has no doubt that over time drivers will travel in truly autonomous cars. "It's just a question of when," he said.
But first, the company will have to overcome a new set of challenges, including stay agile as the company grows, finding and hiring strong global talent, and adopt the mindset of a business as opposed to autonomous corporate division.
"It's a development that increases the level of responsibility of everyone in the organization," Bresson said. "These are good challenges to have."
http://www.forbes.com/ By Lisa Wirthman
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