Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Valeo generates 18 percent of its sales in Asia, and 7 percent in China alone, and that percentage will increase due to fast organic growth in these booming markets, but investors still see Valeo as a company anchored in mature European markets.
“They still see us as mainly a west European company,” chief executive Jacques Aschenbroich told the Reuters Auto Summit in Paris. But despite a decline in turnover, Valeo is keeping up its research and development spending and is continuing to forge forward countries in China, Thailand, India, Turkey or Brazil.
In China, where Valeo grows at a rate of 20 percent, it recently took full control of a joint-venture that makes compressors and the group is reviewing all its six joint ventures in China as it aims to keep on growing fast. It has 500 million euros of sales in China and employs 5,000 people there.
This may mean fewer jobs in France and the rest of Europe in the end. The group is competing a 500 million euro cost-cut drive and will soon start talks with unions to discuss a simplification of the company.
A glimmer of light in a world of darkness for stressed-out car industry managers. Jacques Aschenbroich (pronounce Ashenbrough), the new CEO at French car supplier Valeo has been visiting the Frankfurt and Tokyo motorshows, as well as travelling to places such as China.
“This is not a dying industry, this is an industry in strong mutation,” is the verdict of the man who joined Valeo in March after a career with construction materials group Saint-Gobain.