Everything is relative – even the business figures of a globally operating company like the brose group. Kurt sauernheimer, chairman of brose's management board, notes that the company performed better than the global automotive market last year, where sales fell by 1.2 percent. But there is also a decline in sales at brose – and especially at the coburg location, the decline is relatively severe at minus 2.4 percent. Sauernheimer is therefore quoted in a press release of the brose group with the words: "we cannot be satisfied with our result."
The weakening economy in the automotive industry, according to the press release, is also affecting the business development of the brose group. In 2018, the supplier generated sales of around 6.3 billion euros, just below the previous year's level. "However, the result was significantly below expectations", as it is. "While we grew by six percent in the first half of the year, sales fell by seven percent in the second half", sauernheimer explains. The causes were unplanned costs for the start-up of new products and expenses for quality assurance. At the same time, upfront investments in products for the coming automotive trends had led to an increase in personnel and higher capital expenditure. As a result, fixed costs have "risen disproportionately". Higher raw material prices, punitive tariffs and special taxes would have put an additional burden on the return on investment.
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The seat structures business unit, which is located at brose's headquarters in coburg, contributed around two billion euros in sales (equivalent to a minus of 2.4 percent) to the group's turnover. The tur business unit, based in bamberg, generated sales of 3.2 billion euros (minus 0.5 percent). The drives division from wurzburg generated over one billion euros (plus 0.9 percent).