A Comprehensive Approach
The family-owned company Brose is the fourth-largest automotive supplier in the world. Every
second newly produced vehicle in the world carries at least one product made by Brose. The editors
of Positiv magazine bring you an interview with CEO Niclas Pfüller on the topic of the need to innovate
Dear general director, what are the current business and
production goals of Brose?
We expect to be, at the end of November, at the same level
as last year or even better. Maybe for some people that
sounds strange; everybody is talking about the crisis, but at
this moment, basically since September, we are back and
higher than what we produced one year ago. That’s what
it looks like right now. I am keeping my fingers crossed that
will be what we’ll see at least over the next couple of weeks
until the end of the year. There is, however, surely more
uncertainty in the future than in the past.
So, despite the coronavirus, is it a success?
We have seen, like everybody, dramatic and very bad
months--April, May, June--with really low sales and the crisis
for us. But our business came back quicker than others
and, as I said, since September, we’ve been at or above
last year’s level. Even compared to our projections, we just
have a very small deviation from it.
Have you taken any steps in the field of innovation this
Yes, we have taken steps this year to continue to improve
and innovate our company. Let me just mention three
examples. At the beginning of 2020, and during the
coronavirus crisis, we invested and installed a new digital
production platform which we will roll out worldwide. We
are a pilot factory which helps to develop and later roll out
this new and more efficient system. Our Brose Production
Platform, called PRIME, contains a significant investment in
digital tools linking machines on the production shop floor
with workers and our technicians in the offices, ensuring
higher efficiency. Finally, we will be a completely paperless
factory, able to measure our performance and react to
changes much faster.
Secondly, we have just launched a new innovative side-door
latch at our Rožnov plant. It is the lightest and smallest latch
we have ever produced. We have delivered it to several big
automotive manufacturers in Europe. Production started
off very well, and also even during the corona crisis: we
basically went from 2,000 units per month to 40,000 to
60,000 units per week now, so it was a very good newproduct launch.
And maybe I can mention one more thing: we are always
trying to improve the operational environment for our
employees. During the first half of 2020, we started installing
a new machine concept. It will handle heavy seat structures
and there will be a camera to check for zero defects. So
far, we have not been able to automate production of this
type of very heavy seat. But we made a new concept. It is
68 ǀ POSITIV 4/2020
being installed and is going live as we speak. It ensures that
workers have better ergonomic workplaces and the heavy
work is done by robots. In addition, the Vision System
ensures that the visual quality control is 100% reliable and
ensures best customer satisfaction.
As Brose, we want to continue to invest during the crisis, to
be innovative and come out stronger after the crisis. This
is what we do in line with our slogan #brosestehtnichtstill
(Brose does not stand still).
How is Brose, as an employer, beneficial for the Kopřivnice
region? In the Top Employers Czech Republic 2020, you
placed among the fifteen winners.
We started the Top Employers Certification actually not
only to get an award or win a prize. We wanted to get
a benchmark with other companies, important employers,
not only in the Czech Republic, but basically worldwide.