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    Perfection and aesthetics
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Steinheim, November 2016
Source: “Wirtschaft Regional"

The SAM Automotive Group continues to expand its Steinheim location

For nearly nine months, the former Binder Group has now officially been a part of the Bregal Unternehmerkapital associated company - and the winds of change can be particularly felt at the Steinheim location. The company, which will soon be renamed SAM Automotive Group, short for: “Süddeutsche Aluminium Manufaktur”, is at home on the former Kampa area. The location of the system supplier for aluminum mounting parts in the automobile premium segment is being expanded.

In recent years, Binder and SAM have invested nearly 20 million Euro in the 65,000 square meter area. The legal headquarters of the SAM Automotiv Group may remain in Böhmenkirch, however: “Steinheim should be expanded into a showcase facility in all areas”, according to CEO Peter Markowsky. The proof for this is the investment in the main administration and the former Kampa developer center. The central administration moved here during the past weeks.

At the sites in Steinheim, Böhmenkirch and Laichingen-Feldstetten as well as Puebla in Mexico, SAM Automotive Group develops and produces roof rail systems, roof trimmings, decorative trimming and tank cap systems for all renowned automobile manufacturers.  A majority of the turnover is obtained through the VW corporation, but Mercedes, General Motors and Volvo are also among the company’s customers. The company now has 2,100 employees - a third of which are employed in Steinheim. There were just around 200 employees here four years ago.

The development of the Steinheim site is not only emphasized by the increase in jobs. “Binder had the goal of becoming the market leader for many years,” said Markowsky. “But it is not just about quantity: We want to expand our technological leadership in an innovative market,” the CEO described as the goal. That is why, for example, a modern polishing facility is being created at the Steinheim location.

All the while Bregal Unternehmerkapital represents a reliable investor in the background. The Brenninkmeijer Family, which founded the fashion chain C&A in 1841, is behind Bregal. Bregal’s investments are traditionally long-term in nature. “Bregal is a great match with the medium-sized structure of the group as an investor”, CFO Thomas Erath, who leads the company together with Markowsky, emphasized. Bregal is interested in the sustainable and long-term appreciation of the corporate group.

Markowsky and Erath both emphasize the importance of a realignment of the group. Over the years, the group has grown to include 14 subsidiaries and the existing internal structure and organization no longer fit a modern company with more than 2,000 employees. That is why Markowsky and Erath initially reappointed a few leadership positions, the departments were realigned and received more responsibility - and 14 companies became just three.

This consolidation also included the complete concentration on the automobile market where the SAM Automotive Group earned approximately 300 million Euro per year in complete turnover. The company’s advantage: The change from the combustion to electric engine does not have an effect on the SAM business model: Decorative trimmings will also be decorating electric cars in the future.

On the one hand, the company counts on its know-how for the further development of the corporate group: The patented ALUCERAM procedure, where the aluminum parts are covered with a ceramic layer and thereby conserved, further contributes to the expansion of the group. On the other hand, knowledge is tapped from the new affiliate “novem car interior design gmbh” with their headquarters in Vorbach (Bavaria), which also belongs to Bregal.   “Since Novem produces the decorative parts for the interior of cars, we complement each other perfectly”, according to Markowsky.

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