MAGNETI MARELLI is a leader on international market of designing and production of components and high-tech systems for automotive industry. In Poland it has 5 production plants which have been developing on the local market as well as for export for over 18 years.
Italian history of the company
The company Magneti Marelli (the name of the company comes from the surname of Italian enterpreneur Ercole Marelli) was founded in Italy in 1919 as a joint venture of Fiat Torino and Ercole Marelli & Co. The company started to operate on the market by launching one component – magneto (from which comes the 1st part of company’s name) – designed for automotive and aeronautical industry. Afterwards the enterprise entered the market of domestic appliances. In 70-ties the company diversified its production, dividing the offer into specialised production. It was a good response to the needs of demanding international market. In 90-ties Magneti Marelli chose the strategy of developing its main business and core products: components for automotive industry.
History of Magneti Marelli in Poland
In Poland Magneti Marelli was founded in 1992, when the factory FSM was purchased by Italian group – Fiat. At the beginning the plants of Magneti Marelli produced automotive components for one principal client – Fiat Auto Poland. At the end of 90-ties the production policy: many different components produced by using many different technologies for one client was changed. There were made some investments in order to increase efficiency and to maintain profitability in comparison with raising competition. In Poland the production was rationalised: less components of one type were produced using specialised technology and were directed to more clients.
At present the activity of Magneti Marelli in Poland includes 5 specialised business lines:
- Automotive Lighting Polska in Sosnowiec (lighting components for cars – components of headlights and car lamps)
- Magneti Marelli Exhaust Systems Polska also in Sosnowiec (components for exhaust systems)
- Magneti Marelli Suspension Systems Bielsko in Bielsko Biała (shock absorbers and suspension systems)
- Plastic Components and Modules (two production plant in Sosnowiec, production of bumpers, dashboards, internal and external parts of car equipment and fuel tanks made of plastics).
The Magneti Marelli group cooperates with many automotive concerns – apart from Fiat: the Volkswagen group, Toyota, Opel, Audi, Ford, Citroen, Mitsubishi and Hyundai. In this context the Italian history of the company is particularly important. The Magneti Marelli is regarded as a trustworthy partner – this position was elaborated due to the process of company’s specialisation. In the industrial history of Magneti Marelli scientific research has always been playing a main role. Thanks to it, the enterprise maintained high technological quality. It is prestigious that before the second world war the general director of Laboratories of Scientific Research of Magneti Marelli was Enrico Fermi (a worldwide known scientist). Since the beginning of Magneti Marelli’s existence, which lately has celebrated its 90th anniversary, its trademark remains unchanged. It confirms a huge capital of this brand and shows that it is well recognizable.
Poland’s strategic potential
The strategic potential of Magneti Marelli in Poland is caused by many factors as: advanced and innovative technological solutions as well as full service in all phases of product’s life: design, production and service of spare parts. The strategic potential is also caused by the fact that Polish group belongs to a wider industrial reality and has opportunities to use innovative solutions implemented at a global level of the whole group. It can also exchange knowledge and know-how with all European parts of the group. As a consequence of development in Poland, the group created the department of implementation of new solutions (Application Centre) for the Divisione Lighting, which employ 40 Polish engineers. They gained professional experience in France, Germany and Italy. At a global level the group invests about 4,5 % of its turnover in worldwide scientific research. Magneti Marelli in Poland is still developing – one of its long-term plans – a project of a new production plant is supposed to become an European pole in production of shock absorbers. Also the location of already existing Polish production plants is very important: near the key supplier and other specialised suppliers. The recent trends of global economy allow to expect the growth of sales in the countries of Eastern Europe. While planning the strategy of development, the company has to take into consideration also environmental requirements, that is why innovative ecological products will have key impact on competition on the market in the future. Opportunities of Polish production plants: qualified engineers, collaboration with universities of technology, highly specialised workforce show that the company is well prepared for future.
Magneti Marelli group in Poland counts 4910 FTE. The enterprise is an appreciated employer because it offers a secure workplace in one of the biggest industrial groups in the region. It is important especially nowadays when the job is not stable. HR policy of the company in Poland is based on trainings, promotions and bonuses for the most promising employees. It provides the personalized training courses and systems of professional evaluation. For many years the company has maintained a low index of employees’ rotation. A very important part of HR policy is a pursuit to make all employees (physical worker like operators of injection moulding machines as well as supervisors) realise the role of their position and their work for the results of the whole group. In order to increase employees’ involvement last year the company started to implement the programme World Class Manufacturing and made a lot of trainings. In November the company completed the first WCM audit, necessary to achieve the proficiency level.
Products – market
The group describes its strategy in the following way: „to implement the mission of being a supplier of components for automotive industry at a global level, Magneti Marelli chooses quality and being competitive, advanced technology and flexibility, having as aim to make key technologies accessible at reasonable prices for the final user.” Years before the crisis: 2005, 2006 and 2007 witnessed an intense growth. Increase of production value allowed expansion and considerable investments. There were built two new production halls, of the surface of more than 25.000 m2, new production lines were launched and a new business line – Ergom Automotive – specialised in plastic components was purchased. However, the scale of financial crisis was so big that only a few enterprises were not affected. Of course last winter also Magneti Marelli had to face the recession on the market, but it managed to overcome it quickly at the beginning of this year thanks to better juncture and incentives which had positive influence on the sales of its main client. Currently, when the markets recover stability, the enterprise hopes to continue its growth. During last 5 years Poland changed considerably. After the crisis it became an economical leader of Eastern Europe. As one of a few European countries Poland managed to avoid the recession and maintain positive economic growth, thanks to its geographical position and strong internal demand. Poland attracted many international industrial groups, and not banks as in Baltic countries. Poland created appropriate infrastructure in order to attract new investments. It brought only a few immediate benefits but it contributed considerably to long-term growth. Besides, Poland – as one of the most numerous countries of UE – offers access to well-qualified human resources: physical workers and engineers. At the same time the economical growth created the medium class, which is able to stimulate the economy by strong internal demand, which few years ago would not have been possible.
The recent economic crisis touched also Magneti Marelli and brought a slight slowing down. However, it didn’t cause serious problems thanks to wideness of Magneti Marelli’s offer, which is designed for many clients. The majority of production of Magneti Marelli in Poland is designed for export. Nowadays in the age of globalization, when economies of different countries are related, the export is particularly important. The fact that Italian headquarters invests in development in Poland means that our country plays a strategic role for future company’s growth. In this context the role of emerging markets is important. Increase of exported quantities will depend on ability to enter new markets and maintain with them economic relations. Italian headquarters invest also in China, India and Brasil. The fact that Polish production plants belong to this industrial world is a chance to find new contacts with suppliers, which in future can substitute European countries in this matter. Magneti Marelli is proud of the fact that is has played an important role in the history of Polish industry, in the region and whole country by offering workplace and opportunities of career to young Poles. The group hopes to continue its success in Poland and in other countries. A motto, which the company would like to pass on to the readers of Manufacturing Journal is the following: it is worth planning, producing and selling innovative products of high quality because only in this way the integrity of enterprises’ economies at national and European level can be saved in confrontation with emerging markets.
Written by Berenika Wilczyńska