Getrag Ford Joint Venture Comes Into Operation
COLOGNE, 31 January, 2001 - The joint venture between Getrag and Ford for the engineering and manufacture of manual transmissions in Europe comes into operation from February 1, 2001. The new joint venture company is a 50:50 partnership between Getrag and Ford and will be known as GETRAG FORD Transmissions GmbH. Over 550 million euros will be invested in the further development of the business.
The joint venture has its headquarters in Cologne and has ownership of the former manual transmission operations of Ford in Europe, which employs around 3700 people and comprises manufacturing plants in Bordeaux, France; Cologne, Germany and Halewood, England together with development, engineering and testing facilities.
Tobias Hagenmeyer, the President of Getrag, is the Chief Executive Officer for the joint venture, Mihir Kotecha from Ford is the Chief Financial Officer and Gunter Knoedel from Getrag is the Director of Engineering.
' With the joint venture we have a great opportunity to combine the strengths of both companies and take a leadership position in technology, product and manufacturing. We will create the foundation for our own success by contributing to the success of our customers and particularly our main customer, Ford, starting with a programme to deliver a full range of new generation transmissions incorporating the latest technology.' said Tobias Hagenmeyer.
The new generation transmissions will include 6 speeds and automated shift manual technology.
David Thursfield, President and CEO Ford of Europe, said,' The joint venture is an excellent example of an innovative approach which makes good business sense for all parties. There has been tremendous enthusiasm for the venture from everyone involved, including our employees, who will benefit from greater security of employment.'
'Ford will gain from the establishment of a long term competitive source of manual transmissions, with new investment, new innovative technology and new products. We will also benefit from improvements to our fixed cost base and better asset utilization, which are key elements in our European Turnaround Strategy ,' he said.
Although the scope of the joint venture focuses on its main customer Ford in Europe, it has the ability to pursue additional opportunities within the global Ford organization and with other companies outside Ford.
The joint venture will continue to produce the IB5, MT75, MTX75 and VXT75 transmissions currently used in European Ford vehicles. 1.6 million transmissions were produced in 2000. Sales of DM1.7 billion are projected for the first year of operation.
Getrag is one of the world's leading companies in the development and production of manual transmissions and supplies most of the major vehicle producers. It produced 1.2 million transmissions and rear axles in 2000 and had group sales of DM 1.63 billion. Founded in 1935, it employs 5000 people at 12 sites in Germany, Japan, India, Italy and the US.