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Automotive Engineering

Interview with Christian Coolsaet, Managing Director Germany of Volvo Group Trucks Central Europe GmbH

When you are the boss, you must lead by example

In 1928, the first Volvo truck rolled off the production line under the name ‘Model 1’. Since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength. In Germany, Volvo Group Trucks Central Europe GmbH in Ismaning is responsible for the operative business for the brands Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks. Across Germany it has 140 dealers and service support centers. Managing Director for the company and its approximately 700 employees is Flanders-native Christian Coolsaet. In an interview with European Business, he talked about current developments within the company and the industry as well as his own personal recipe for success.

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Paving the way for electric mobility

“The future of mobility is electric,” says Mads Bundgård Harder-Lauridsen, Head of Business Development at Clever A/S. Convinced of the future potential, the Copenhagen-based company is engaged in making the future come true with smart solutions for fast and flexible charging systems.

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Particular parts and complete carts

It makes automotive parts such as ball joints and stabilizer bar links. And it is developing a promising niche segment of the market for electric vehicles. VT2i SAS is a dynamically evolving automotive supplier with a clear diversification strategy. The owner-managed French enterprise has just shipped its first five e-carts to the Caribbean and aims to grow its production capacity to 400 vehicles a year. Simultaneously, it wants to further expand its position in the agricultural, commercial and military vehicle markets.

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A global company on the move

The obligation to carry a spare tire as a replacement means extra weight and increases the fuel consumption of a vehicle. As car manufacturers are looking for innovative alternatives to serve the needs of a more fuel-efficient industry and society, Active Tools has become a tier 1 supplier to most of the major OEM brands. The global enterprise, headquartered in Hong Kong, ranks as the world’s leader in next-generation roadside tire repair solutions. Active Tools Europe GmbH in Bad Salzuflen, Germany, is the European head office and distribution center for the company’s full range of tire repair inflate and seal systems.

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Getting comfortable

Despite the need to use our available time as efficient as possible, many of us are spending more time than ever behind the steering wheel. These extended periods of time on the road create the challenge of increasing comfort and functionality inside the car. Car manufacturers, who want to ensure that their customers can drive in comfort and without risk of injury, trust the technology of L&P Automotive Europe Headquarters GmbH, the European arm of the vast American L&P Automotive Group.

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High performance, low emissions

Motor graders are special construction vehicles designed to create a smooth, wide, flat surface. They are used for road construction, forestry, mining and other challenging applications in rough environments. Europe’s undisputed leader in this sophisticated market, and one of the main global players, too, is GP Papenburg Maschinenbau GmbH. The company combines high performance with low emissions and manages to meet its customers’ most specific requirements.

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The sound of innovation

Sound design is playing an increasingly important role in the automotive industry. It can be used to enhance engine sound in low-displacement cars or to create sound in electric vehicles as a means to prevent accidents with visually impaired people. One of the technology leaders in this dynamically evolving sector is Kendrion Kuhnke Automotive GmbH. The company offers complete sound design solutions based on innovative flexible structure-born sound technology and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 most innovative firms in Germany.

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Independence guaranteed

Independent garages make up 50% of the German automotive aftercare market. With no strings to a single brand, they can often offer motorists a better deal on repairs and servicing. They can also source spare parts from the most competitive supplier. For automotive electrical parts and spare parts for Japanese and Korean car models, that supplier is Herth+Buss GmbH & Co. KG. The family-owned company has been specializing in industrial parts manufacture since 1925. With its comprehensive portfolio of high quality parts and efficient distribution network, it is a key part of the automotive aftermarket supply chain.

Interview with Felix Weller, Vice President of Cadillac Europe GmbH

Objects of beauty

Cadillac is the American premium car brand. Thanks to its rich history of iconic cars, it has inspired several artists and songwriters. The famous US-band Hot Chocolate even praised ‘Heaven is in the back seat of my Cadillac’. In Europe, the brand is looking back on a changing history. Two years ago, the parent company GM decided to establish Cadillac Europe as an independent entity. A new premium brand strategy was implemented. Since then, the company has been enjoying increasing brand awareness. European Business talked to Vice President Felix Weller about the new brand strategy.

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