Global braking and chassis systems specialist BWI Group has won new business worth €1 billion in the last year, with four major new customers joining the company’s order book since 2010. In the two years since becoming an independent business (November 2009), BWI Group has been making substantial investments to expand its existing production and development footprint, with new facilities in China and India. The Asia-Pacific region has generated around 30 percent of the bookings and BWI expects its development to support vehicle manufacturers’ expansion in Asia’s fast-growing automotive markets.
“The growth of BWI Group’s business reflects the rising demand from manufacturers for faster vehicle development cycles as well as improved ride and handling,” said BWI Group Business Planning Manager Charles Horne. “Our company’s focus on developing braking and chassis systems is allowing us to introduce a range of chassis, damper and brake system technologies that help customers to achieve best-in-class ride and handling for their brands. BWI Group’s combination of strong local customer support, best-cost manufacturing locations and its world-class research and development capability is encouraging manufacturers to work more closely with us on a range of programmes around the world.”
In China, the company’s investment includes the construction of a new damper production facility in Fangshan, Beijing, and the construction of a new operations and technical centre for brake systems in Shanghai. BWI has also established a new winter testing site in north-east China that provides a world-class range of winter surfaces for brake systems, ABS, and vehicle stability systems testing and validation. In India, the company has completed construction of a new plant in Gurgaon, North East India, which will produce suspension components and modules for local customers. Production at the new plant began in June 2011.
BWI Group is experiencing growth at all of its six manufacturing sites, five technical centres and 14 customer service centres in 12 countries. Continuous improvements in productivity, quality and output at the company’s production facilities in the UK, Poland and Mexico are also contributing to the company’s growth in Europe and North America.
“Our technical centres have developed a number of cutting-edge products that are being well-received around the world,” said Horne. “Our products are helping manufacturers to develop vehicles that set benchmarks in their class and establish new territory for their brands. These technologies include: active stabiliser bar systems, more intelligent passive damper technologies, MagneRide semi-active suspension and fully integrated braking control systems.”