In the wake of the 1st Korea-German Logistics Conference held on 9th June in Seoul, MediaKN, the publisher of Shippers’ Journal and also Korean representative of BVL(German Federal Logistics Association), had a chance to interview Mr. Stefan Halusa to introduce Brose Korea and talk about how to further promote BVL activities in Korea. Mr. Halusa is the president of Brose East Asia as well as the president of KGCCI(Korean-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry), which was an organizer of the conference.
“If we are able to combine our expertise with the Korean speed of implementation, we will be invincible”
1. My understanding is that Brose is a very specialized German manufacturer of electronic motor parts for automobile. Could you tell me more specifically about Brose’s production items?
Brose is a specialized automotive supplier for mechatronic systems for vehicle doors and seats as well as electric motors and drives. All of these product lines are also produced in Korea as well. Electric motors in our joint venture company Mando-Brose in the IFEZ, all other products in our 100% subsidiary Brose Korea with locations in Suwon and Songdo. We are the 5th largest family-owned automotive supplier globally with our corporate headquarters in the City of Coburg in Germany.
With our products we support major trends in the automotive industry: Fuel efficiency by reducing the vehicle weight through lightweight materials for door systems and seat structures, as well as by the introduction of electronically commutated motors for various applications in the car.
2. I have heard that Brose has been in co-operation with Korea’s Mando. How do you collaborate with each other?
We have a joined venture company, named Mando-Brose Corporation. The company develops and produces electric steering motors. As you may know, Mando is one of leading suppliers for steering systems, brake systems and suspension system in the automotive industry. These systems require electric motors, so in 2011 we teamed up to incorporate the joint venture to develop and supply motors for Mando’s systems, starting with power steering motors.
3. What do you think of Korea’s automobile and autopart industry. What are their strength, potential and weakness?
The Korean automotive industry, car manufacturers as well as suppliers, is very competitive. Within a few decades the industry produced world market leaders, which is truly remarkable. Speed is one of the keys of success. While others are still planning and checking, Korean companies are already acting, this way being able to bring products significantly faster to the market. The global success of Korean car manufacturers and their suppliers demonstrates also the ability to adapt to local requirements, and taste.
I do not want to talk about weaknesses others may or may not have, but rather our own strengths, our technical capabilities and system know-how. Especially the latter requires a systematic and structured approach. And I keep saying to my team, if we are able to combine that expertise with the Korean speed of implementation, we will be invincible.
“Brose Korea has two main CSR activities. The one is to organize an internal bazaar to help people in need, for instance, an orphanage. The other is to provide internships for students in Korea or abroad, so that they can gain working experience and additional qualifications”
4. CSR is becoming an important issue for enterprises in Korea. Could you tell me Brose Korea’s case to realize CSR?
CSR is not only an important issue for companies in Korea, but globally. We have two main activities. At the end of every year, our employees organize an internal bazaar, where they can sell things, which they no longer need, but which may still be useful for others. The revenues of the bazaar and an additional amount from the company are then donated to those in need, e.g. an orphanage. In addition to the donation, we spend the day in the institution, trying to bring some joy as well.
The second activity is more business-oriented. As we all know, youth unemployment is high in Korea, so we work with organizations like HRD Korea to provide internships for students in Korea or abroad, so that they can gain working experience and additional qualifications, to make it easier for them to find a job afterwards. Also recently we had a group of students visiting our plant in Songdo for one day, so that they can develop a better idea, of what to expect from the working world, and what is important to them, when looking for future employment.
“The Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its vast network of German industrial companies in Korea can be very helpful in connecting logistics and industry. They are an excellent platform to promote BVL through their media and events, and are a strong partner for future joint projects.”
5. You were appointed as the president of KGCCI about a year ago. What is your task as a president?
KGCCI is the second biggest bilateral chamber in Korea with around 500 members in Korea and in Germany. Our main mission is the promotion of economic and commercial relations between Germany and Korea. We represent the interest of German companies in Korea and support both German and Korean companies doing business in the other market. This includes very practical topics such as business partner search, benchmarking or market access delegations to and from Korea, trade fair support, VAT refund and the like.
To promote innovations which are key for success of businesses we have initiated an Innovation Award for which companies in Korea and Germany can apply, with an Award Gala at the end of September this year, so that the award winners will get publicity and exposure to potential customers at the same time.
And, together with partners like GTAI, local trade promotion agencies or industrial associations visiting from Germany we are supporting Korean investment in Germany. Besides being the supporting agency for Korean and German businesses, KGCCI is in particular a membership organisation. Much of its knowledge is deriving from working so closely with the member companies who are represented by a 20 member Korean-German Board of Directors under the leadership of Chairman Dr. JongKap Kim, Chairman & CEO of Siemens Ltd., and myself. Chamber operations are run by a full-time staff of 20, headed by Secretary General Barbara Zollmann.
6. We hear you already know very well about BVL. We were nominated as a BVL Korean representative last Oct. As one part of BVL activities, we held Korea-German logistics conference for the first time on 9th June. We have realized that we need to attract more attention not only from Korean side but also from German industry people living in Korea. What do you think we should do to make BVL Korea a communication platform between German experts and Korean business people?
German companies are very advanced in the field of logistics through their vast international logistics experience and are therefore important partners of Korean companies. For BVL it could be interesting to cooperate with a broad network of companies, the classical logistics sector and industry. Through Industrie 4.0, Internet of Things, and the convergence of industries, all going along with expanded opportunities through IT, more companies will integrate advanced logistic solutions into their businesses.
Therefore it is recommended to present topics at conferences that can be widely applied to companies from other industries, too. The Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its vast network of German industrial companies in Korea can be very helpful in connecting logistics and industry. They are an excellent platform to promote BVL through their media and events, and are a strong partner for future joint projects.
Conferences and workshops with companies are very good ways to promote BVL in Korea. In addition to this BVL could cooperate with local universities which offer logistics/transportation related majors. By serving them with a platform for their students you can make both the organization and its purposes better known. In Germany, BVL hands out logistics or supply chain related science awards. This could be a way to start for Korea as well
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