Zumtobel Group Strengthens Presence in Asian Market
With the opening of a newly built factory in Tianjin in northern China, the country’s third largest city, the Zumtobel Group is strengthening its presence in the Asian market. The Thorn factory for road and tunnel lighting, which replaces a much smaller lighting factory, covers some 19,000 square meters and includes a production shop, an admin block and laboratory and testing facilities. Built with support from the local development company TEDA (Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area), the new factory was officially opened in July in the presence of Vice Mayor Wang Zhiping and the Chief Operating Officer of the Zumtobel Group, Martin Brandt.
“With the new factory in Tianjin we have established a solid basis for the further expansion of our business in Asia,” said Martin Brandt, Zumtobel Group Management Board member responsible for the Thorn brand as well as for the Lighting Segment in Asia, the Middle East, Australia & New Zealand. “At our two luminaire plants in Tianjin and Guangzhou, we are aiming to manufacture not only a comprehensive product portfolio for the local market but also products for our global business. One key success factor here is the expansion of our development capabilities in China, which is why we have decided to set up our own R&D center here.”
In conjunction with the new plant, Thorn has also invested in the expansion of the laboratories and testing facilities in Tianjin. At the same time, close cooperation with Chinese universities such as Dalian Polytechnic University, Tianjin University and Fudan University Guangzhou play an important part in enabling Thorn to recruit highly qualified specialist employees.
Today, some 15% of the Zumtobel Group’s 7450-strong global workforce are already employed in Asia (including the Middle East). The international lighting group currently operates three factories in China: a Tridonic plant for electronic ballasts in Shenzhen, a Thorn plant for professional indoor lighting in Guangzhou and the new Thorn factory for outdoor lighting in Tianjin. All of these plants have their own laboratories and testing facilities that match up to international standards. Together the three plants employ a total of almost 90 development and engineering personnel.
“Our next step now is to network our existing knowledge base more strongly across Europe and Asia within our global organization. In a carefully coordinated and targeted way we will continue to build on our strengths in Asia and Europe. With our production network, expanded research and development capacities and global networking, we will create the necessary platform from which to realize the attractive potential of the new growth markets for the Zumtobel Group,” said Brandt, setting out his expectations.
The Zumtobel Group is one of the few global players in the lighting industry. The Group offers a full range of professional indoor and outdoor lighting, lighting management systems and lighting components as well as innovative LED and OLED technology. Based in Dornbirn in the Vorarlberg region of Austria, the Group posted sales of EUR 1,280.3 million in the financial year 2011/12 and currently employs a workforce of approximately 7,500 employees.
The Group pursues a multi-brand strategy, addressing different business sectors and target groups in the lighting market through the internationally renowned Thorn, Zumtobel and Tridonic brands and the recently established Ledon brand.