Last week, Weidmüller celebrated ten years of operation of its production facilities in Suzhou. CEO Dr. Peter Köhler underlined the importance of the commitment for the whole Weidmüller Group. “Just about 20 years ago, Weidmüller laid the foundations for its commitment to the Chinese market, creating the basis for a sustainable growth in the region, which the whole Group is profiting from today.” What started as a small Joint Venture has now become the second most important market for the electro-technical specialists from Detmold, after Germany, with its own production facilities, development team and its own Academy as a networking and training centre.
“Our commitment to China can look back on a long and extremely successful tradition,” stated Köhler during the celebrations in Suzhou. In particular, Köhler sees Weidmüller's success on the Chinese market as resulting from the long-term focus and the partnership-based collaboration: “We lead the way when it came to showing interest in China and this early entry into the market enabled us to garner experiences that both we and our customers are benefiting from today.” He is also convinced that the potential in China is as big today as it has ever been. “This is why will focus on China going forward and will continue to drive our expansion in both the country and the region.”
Dr. Peter Köhler (m.), CEO of Weidmüller, Victor Wan (r.), President of Weidmüller Greater China, and Leon Zhang (l.), General Manager of Weidmüller Interface (Suzhou) Co., Ltd, at the ceremony in Suzhou.
In this respect, the company is building on a sustainable development, which alongside expanding the production facilities, growing the market share and establishing additional collaborative actions, also has an eye on fostering knowledge creation in the region. To this end, the company established its own Asia Academy in 2011: “The opening of the first Weidmüller Academy outside of Germany has certainly contributed to reinforcing our excellent reputation as an employer and reflects the fact that the days of China as a low-wage country are over,” says Köhler. Weidmüller also received official Chinese recognition for its extensive commitment. As well as being given the well-known Gongkong Award 2011 as the Best Employer and Best Innovator, recently the company was certified by the state body CCIQ (China’s Commodity Inspection & Quarantine), as a “Class A” employer. Factors such as the company's reputation, the working environment or the quality of the products were considered during the evaluation process.
Weidmüller entered the Chinese market back in 1994 as part of a Joint Venture. In 2001, the first Sales Office was opened, which now number 16 across the whole of the country. In 2003, Weidmüller then set up the first independent production facilities in Suzhou. These days, the plant has grown from 4.000 m2 to 15.000 m2 and the number of employees has risen from 40 to just about 600. In order to be able to better react to the requirements of the Chinese market, Weidmüller opened development centres in Suzhou and Shanghai in 2010. The latest links in this development chain came in 2011 with the establishment of the Weidmüller Asia Academy and the building of the company's own logistics centre that covers 8,000 m2. Currently, Weidmüller employs about 1,000 staff in China.
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