Order book of €1 billion follows major investments in chassis technology,
facilities and process improvement
Dayton, Ohio – 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 expectsits 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.”
The latest vehicles to enter production with BWI Group technologies include the Range Rover Evoque compact SUV, Ferrari 458 Italia sports car and four-seat, four-wheel drive Ferrari FF, MINI Countryman crossover SUV and two-seater MINI Coupé. The company also supplies the Chevrolet Sail, a Chinese premium compact car, and Vehicle Product Group’s MV-1, the first vehicle purpose-built wheelchair-accessible mobility vehicle.
BWI Group is the strong and well-funded company that acquired the business of Delphi Chassis Systems on November 1st 2009. The product portfolio is split into two complementary groups: ride & handling technologies and braking technologies. In both areas, the offering ranges from high value items such as twin-tube dampers and brake system components, through to highly sophisticated active systems and the expertise required to integrate them with premium vehicle programmes.
BWI Group’s engineering philosophy can be summarised as ‘innovation with design simplicity’: a strategy that is clearly demonstrated in world-class technologies such as electronically controlled braking and stability systems, the MagneRide controlled damping system and the award-winning MR Powertrain Mount.
The substantial product portfolio is supported by technical centres in North America, China, Japan, France and Poland and by applications support centres in Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. This is complemented by hot and cold weather test centres in North America and cold weather test centres in China and Sweden.