His Majesty the King of Spain Felipe VI chaired today the official opening of Gestamp Chassis Innovation Center, committed to the design and test of prototypes of the following generations of chassis for the global automotive platforms.
Francisco J. Riberas, President and CEO of Gestamp, hosted the visit through Bielefeld facilities, the biggest of the Spanish company worldwide, able to link complete research and development cycles, from design concept to series production within 205,000 sqm, 1,400 employees, and a turnover of 334 € million (2013).
This center is one of the 12 compounds focused on improving safety standards while achieving more weight reduction in the metal car components made by Gestamp, that contribute to diminishing the greenhouse gas emissions produced by every vehicle.
King Felipe VI, accompanied by the Spanish Ambassador to Germany, Pablo García-Berdoy, and Spanish Foreign Affairs minister José Manuel García-Margallo, could grasp on the ground how Gestamp technological model consists mainly in reducing costs and weight at the same time, with its innovative use of high strength steel.
Some of the 64 experts who work in Gestamp Chassis Innovation Center explained the processes used in Bielefeld to put car pieces to test such as stressing chassis unit to an equivalent of 340,000 kilometers drive in five days in order to understand its weaknesses under harsh circumstances.
The other goal of Gestamp R&D means to preserve the passenger’s safety strengthening the steel components that make up the vehicle’s internal structure.
Regarding this issue, Angelica Schwall-Düren, regional minister of European and Federal Affairs of Northern Renania-Westfalia, and Pit Clausen, Mayor of Bielefeld, also witnessed the metal behavior and the way it twists, instead of breaking, when crashed at 60 km/h.
Riberas thanked the institutional authorities and the selected group of high representatives of the main OEM who attended the event, and remarked the relevance of this center being located in the heart of the automotive industry and aimed to become the global reference of Gestamp when it comes to chassis research and development.
Being Germany its largest market by sales (over €1 billion in 2013) and Gestamp is willing to deepen its role as a strategic supplier for the German OEMs, inside Europe and abroad. The President of Gestamp highlighted the “on-going symbiosis”, the increasing coupling, between Germany and Spain as Gestamp’s two main decision-taking centers.
Gestamp Germany’s footprint consists of 6 production plants, 4,302 employees and around one fifth of the firm’s total sales in 2013. Since 2012 until today, Gestamp investment in its German perimeter reaches €111 M.
Gestamp is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of metal components and assemblies for major automakers worldwide. It specializes in developing innovative design products for safer and lighter vehicles, therefore reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. Their products cover the areas of Body in White, Chassis and Mechanisms. It is present in 20 countries, has 93 manufacturing plants and 1 under construction, 12 R&D centers and a workforce of 32,000 employees worldwide. Forecasted turnover for 2014 is EUR 6,250 million.