WEISS opens new subsidiary in China


With the foundation of a subsidiary in Shanghai, China, the manufacturer of automation components continues to make great strides along the path to internationalisation. The WEISS subsidiary opened its doors on 2 March 2011 with a true Chinese ceremony.

The traditional Chinese lion dance was the ceremonial climax of the launch of the Shanghai subsidiary. However, this symbolism does not merely pay lip service to Chinese customs. For WEISS, it's all part of the programme. The road to China is not just a jaunt for the manufacturer of automation components, but rather a strategic decision. The country and its culture are taken seriously. All employees of the new subsidiary speak fluent Chinese and nearly all are mechanical engineers. Service and support are also to be provided in the national tongue from the location in Shanghai. Furthermore, a spare parts depot in China is already at the planning stage.

"The Chinese are very demanding when it comes to quality and support. In our experience no company establishes a foothold in the Chinese market with a half-hearted attitude or a second-class team," explains Jens Knölke, Head of Sales and Marketing at WEISS, on the subject of his company's Asian strategy.

It is not just by chance that the Buchen-based company attaches such importance to the expansion - China is by far the fastest-growing mechanical engineering market in the world. "We have only been active in China for a short time and will triple our sales by the end of the year," declares Knölke, explaining the growth strategy. He adds: "China will be the biggest export market for WEISS by 2014."

The Shanghai subsidiary represents a big step towards this goal for WEISS. In this respect, improved adaptation to local Asian customs is the most important driving force in company decision-making – a sure nod to Darwin. Among other things, the focus lies on mastering faster response and production times and getting to grips with the generally lower levels of training of the specialist staff. A specially developed training and service concept will improve product knowledge and establish the traditional WEISS quality concept in Asia.

Very little is left to chance by the Buchen-based company. Even the location in Shanghai was chosen after careful consideration: Shanghai is China's economic powerhouse, a key centre of the automotive industry and thereby also of mechanical engineering. Tax advantages and an outstanding infrastructure are further benefits for companies looking to invest in the region.

The range of products sold in Asia consists of servo-mechanical, directly driven and purely mechanical rotary indexing tables as well as handling systems and axes. "Made in Germany" continues to be a powerful trademark in Asia. And this is especially relevant to WEISS as all components are manufactured at the Buchen site in Germany in virtually 100% vertical integration. In spite of the spirit of expansion, the company from the Odenwald forest in Germany remains true to its roots when it comes to production.

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