A Company that Succeeded
on the Global Market
and Became a Czech Singularity
Jakub Weimann, the CEO of BONATRANS GROUP a.s., has been operating in the Moravian
-Silesian Region his whole life. He successfully graduated from the Ostrava Technical University
VSB and, a few years later, obtained his MBA at VUT in Brno. He began working at the company
as a sales manager, and over the course of twenty years, he worked himself up to the position
of CEO. Today, Jakub Weimann is involved in every major decision in the company, with the goal
of maintaining their position as European leader.
Mr. Weimann, you have been part of
BONATRANS for almost twenty years.
What about it inspired you to spend most
of your professional career here?
I have always had a connection to the
railway industry. My father loved trains,
and I inherited this love from him.
Furthermore, BONATRANS is a Czech
company with global influence, which is
not very common, and that makes it stand
I also like the fact that we have our own
products, and we can cover their entire
lifespan, from manufacturing to after-sales
With the passage of time I can also see that
multiple generations of the same family are
all working at the company, which creates
a sort of tradition, and work that is literally
passed down from father to son.
BONATRANS is an influential supplier of
railway wheelsets. What makes it unique?
The most unique aspect is the fact that the
people here in Bohumín both construct
14 ǀ POSITIV 3/2020
and manufacture the wheelsets (and
parts thereof, including axles, wheels and
centers) and they have a lot of experience
with it. It is specifically because of this
that we are able to effectively react to
market requirements and focus on our
own development. This involves efforts
in improving the products’ lifecycle,
increasing their lifespan under increased
costs stemming from environmental
requirements, ride comfort, etc.
The solution for this is the materials
used, technologies and the logistics of
production, and many others aspects.
Our customers as well as suppliers (of
operational and capital expenditures)
provide significant outside contributions
to our unique products.
What exactly can we imagine under the
materials you mentioned?
For example, we are working with steel
suppliers in the development of new
materials that better adhere to different
climates and geographic conditions.
The next question is related to geography.
Since BONATRANS is a global company,
where can we experience a ride in a train
that runs on your wheelsets? Are there
some nontraditional places you think
are worth a mention?
You can get a ride practically anywhere,
as we supply our products to eighty
countries, five continents and we hold
a 40% share in the European market.
You can ride BONATRANS wheelsets in
the subways of Paris, Prague and New
York, and if you travel to the Tibetan high
plateau, which a railway in China passes
through, you also have the chance to ride
in our wheelsets.
As far as distance is concerned, the
furthest we have ever exported our
product was New Zealand. You are most
likely, however, to catch a ride in Germany,
Austria, France or the UK, as these
countries are our biggest customers. If
we are talking about countries outside of
Europe, thought, it would then be North
America, India and China.