Brose Limited, a leading mechatronics specialist to the automotive sector, has appointed a new Managing Director to build on its significant recent growth.
Steve Wilkins, an industry specialist with more than 30 years’ experience, has taken over at its two Coventry plants in Colliery Lane and Foleshill and has already expressed his desire to make the most of five years of continued investment in the UK.
He will work with the company’s experienced management team to continue to improve quality and maximise operational efficiency, giving the business a strong platform to manage the current uncertainty being seen in the UK automotive industry in the lead-up to Brexit.
“I’m really excited to be taking over in Coventry again after holding the same position over 10 years ago, helping it move through the global slowdown of 2009 and setting it up for the major growth we have seen in recent years,” explained Steve, who has been with Brose since 2002.
“We hit some major production milestones in 2018, including the 2 millionth seat structure for JLR and over 4.6 million window regulators for three leading car makers, supplying 17 different models across 20 global plants.”
He continued: “This has been possible thanks to the investment in laser welding capabilities, a state-of-the-art paint plant that allows us to control a vital process and a strong commitment to developing our processes and our people…the latter are still our most valuable asset.
“The challenge going forward will be to support our customers as they evolve to meet fluctuating global demand and work through a period of uncertainty brought on by the diesel debate and a lack of clarity around current negotiations. We are in a good position to do just that.”
Steve Wilkins has more than 30 years’ experience working across the automotive sector, starting his working life as a trainee at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). He spent 11 years there working his way up to Supply Chain Development Manager for a number of new projects, before joining Toyoda Gosei Fluid Systems UK in 1999 and arriving at Brose Coventry in 2002.
“My time in the UK, initially as Logistics Manager and then MD, stood me in great stead for a host of global roles I’ve held within the group, starting with General Manager for our Ontario plant in Canada, where we increased productivity by 30% between 2013 and 2018,” commented Steve.
“I then spent time as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Special Projects in Detroit, managing rapid growth and new product introductions in North America, before supporting the launch of our new seating plant in Queretaro in Mexico.”
He went on to add: “All of these different positions have given me an insight into different manufacturing processes and technology that I will now use to support our Coventry facilities and how we move the business forward in 2019.”
Brose is the world’s fourth-largest family-owned automotive supplier. The company develops and produces mechatronic systems for vehicle doors and seats as well as electric motors, drives and electronics, among others for steering, brakes, transmissions and engine cooling.
Approximately 26,000 employees at 62 locations in 23 countries generate turnover of 6.3 billion euros. Worldwide, every second new vehicle is equipped with at least one Brose product.