Zumtobel Group strengthens its presence in the Asian market

July 13, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With the opening of a new factory in Tianjin in northern China, Austrian lighting company Zumtobel Group is strengthening its presence in the Asian market. The new factory is operated by Zumtobel's Thorn brand. Dedicated to road and tunnel lighting products, the factory replaces a smaller lighting factory, covers some 19,000 square meters and includes production, administration and laboratory as well as testing facilities.

“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 company's Thorn brand as well as for the Lighting Segment in Asia, the Middle East, Australia & New Zealand. Brandt added that Zumtobel plans to utilize the factory to manufacture products for the local market as well as for the company's global business. The expansion of the R&D capabilities in China is regarded as a key success factor in Zumtobel's strategy, he said.

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 the company to recruit highly qualified specialist employees.

Today, some 15% of the Zumtobel Group's 7,450-strong global workforce is employed in Asia. The lighting group currently runs 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 organisation. In a 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 realise the attractive potential of the new growth markets for the Zumtobel Group,” said Martin Brandt, setting out his expectations.