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Dec 1, 2006

The REAL Thing


A leading French company is bringing sophisticated technology to surface cleaning challenged to detect and repair fine defects arising in the coating and OEM car plant painting lines.

For any foreign enterprise to enter the lucrative Asian market, a good local partner is always an advantage, especially when it comes to top results in painting and coating cars.
Ronald Beys, Managing Director of Gekatex SAS, has every reason to celebrate its co-operation with Wetzel Filters Technologies based in Shanghai handling the OEM car market and Long Initiatives Corporation in Zuhai for the after market in the P.R. of China. He also concluded a distributorship agreement with Rublelon Marketing and Mr. Wong Kok Kheong to represent Gekatex SAS in Malaysia and Thailand and reinforced the existing distributorship agreement with Chongqin Trading Group in Chongqin handling the Changang Ford business in both Chongqin and Nanjin.

Wetzel Technologies is the nation’s flagship distributor for hi-tech air filters used within the automotive OEM paintbox industry, Mr. Stefen Wetzel President and owner of the company has long term experience in this market having worked for Freudenberg Company in the past. His partner Mr. Heinz Krambehr is a top executive veteran within the paint and coating industry and was the paint technology leader for companies such as Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault and Toyota. His field of expertise is crucial within the further expansion of this joint venture.

The two companies recently inked a deal setting up a joint venture in Shanghai to manufacture, convert, assemble and distribute a professional variety of products to be introduced within the large Chinese automotive OEM market segment.

Starting in January 2007

The converting factory BERO Nonwovens a sister company of Gekatex SAS based in Qingyuan serving also as logistic base to support Wetzel’s distribution network was already operational in January 2006. Today new machines have been added to secure all types of converting treating and packaging operations for the Asian market.

Wetzel Filter is constructing a brand new Head Quarters based in Shanghai which will regroup total distribution of a variety of products such as air filters and a total range of surface treatment products like pads, compounds, abrasives, tapes, disposable workwear, robotcovers, wipers and tack rags

Mr. Wetzel and Mr. Ronald Beys have agreed to support and promote the creation of a Technical Training Center within the Wetzel Technology center. Wetzel together with Gekatex SAS will ensure professional training of on-line operators in and effort to optimise results in the surface treatment and spot repair area. Wetzel Company has more than 20 salespeople in more than 20 cities of China and covers nationwide territory.

Long Initiative Corporation based in Zuhai with offices around China in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Changchuan works with more than 40 sales people within the automotive after market. Mr. Long Peng – President of Long Intitiatives and already customer from Gekatex SAS for a few years decided to bring the cooperation a step further by confirmation of a nationwide distribution agreement with Gekatex SAS and its Managing Director Ronald Beys for the after market. Long Initiatives and Gekatex SAS will work closely together to create a specialised sales team trained and supported by the know how of both companies. More than 10 last year students from the Canton Technical Highschool will join Long Initiatives with the intention to bring a superior training and know how base to the Chinese automotive surface treatment and repair systems market.
A training school with hands on paintbooth and repairshop will be created in a new Long Initiatives Trainingcenter based in Zuhai. Distributors and end users from all over China will be able to come and learn the latest new techniques applied within the car repair market.

“We are bound together because we have common views on the market”, the President says when asked about the corporate coupling. “ The emerging Chinese market offers great potential for our products. Together with Long Initiatives we consider China a domestic market. We are in a really trusting relationship with our Chinese colleagues at Long Initiatives. A chance to cooperate with the country’s leading distributor in the automotive car repair after market provides Gekatex SAS a unique opportunity to access the world’s largest emerging market.

As for Long Initiatives objectives in choosing Gekatex SAS / BERO as its business partners Mr. Peng has agreed to reinforce their ties with Gekatex after visiting the operation of BERO Nonwovens Company in Qingyuan ensuring him of the local support of product supply and services such as packaging, converting, sewing and local storage. Although Long Initiatives sees Gekatex and BERO as not a big player compared to other manufacturers, Long Initiatives appreciates that Gekatex SAS is strongly committed to providing the best solutions for customers in terms of technology and credibility, he says.

Growth Opportunities in Malaysia and Thailand were on the calendar during a meeting between Rublelon Marketing late November 2006 at BERO Qingyuan premises.

Rublelon Marketing’s President Mr. Wong Kok Kheong and BERO Qingyuan President Mr. Ronald Beys concluded an agreement of distribution on November 28th to distribute Gekatex SAS product range and surface treatment technologies within the Malaysian and Thai territories. Rublelon is a masking film and tape distributor with good solid penetration within the automotive OEM industry in Malaysia and Thailand. The customer base exists of customers such as Proton, Perodua, Ford, GM, Toyota, …
During a full day plant visit and strategy meeting in South China both companies agreed to support each others product ranges throughout the above mentioned territory. Both countries have a potential of market of 2 Million new cars being produced YTD. Growth plans have foreseen double digit growth figures for the next years to come from leading manufacturers such as Toyota and joint ventures with Ford and GM.

Mr. Wong Kok Kheong was impressed by the brand new installations of Gekatex SAS distribution center in Qingyuan and called it a long term commitment to the future of both companies within the Asian automotive OEM environment. Both companies agreed to visit the Malaysian installations and ensure product data and training know how to allow long term penetration into the OEM surface treatment market.

CHONGQING TRADING AND DISTRIBUTION

Mr. Gao Wei and Mr. Joseph Hu of Chongqin company reinforced their agreement with Gekatex SAS and BERO Nonwovens in Qingyuan to sell and distribute Gekatex SAS product range within the Changang Ford Plants in Chongqin and Nanjin.

Specialised tailor made robotcover service is provided to FORD for the more than 30 robots operational within the painting and sealant lines. BERO Nonwovens and Chongqin Trading have invested in a local tailor made on site manufacturing unit whereby BERO ensured supply of specialised wovens anti static and Teflon coated materials followed by local sewing services offer Ford the best in robotcover technology available in P.R. of China.
Gekatex and BERO were the first to introduce this novelty into this fast growing market.
“We plan to expand this unique service throughout whole China” says Ronald Beys President of BERO Qingyuan nonwovens. This is our commitment to serve closer and support better our customers and open the door to the other products such as our State of the Art Tack Rags now chosen by Toyota as best available quality within the Chinese territory. Our new and unique impregnation technologies can be seen as the best available and can be used on both water based as well as 2K solvent based coatings. Our buffing pads and compounds are N°1 performers on the latest new crystal clear and hard coatings used in the OEM industry today.
Together with our distribution partners we can offer substantial savings in both time and cost compared to existing polishing and surface treatment systems”.
Chongqing Trading is a Gekatex distributor since 2 years and sees his potential sales expanding every month thanks to Gekatex SAS technology support and joint program of local service and manufacturing.

To do or not to do, that’s the question :

Through the above joint ventures and agreements Gekatex SAS wants to ensure its penetration into the Asian automotive OEM and after service markets. Think global and act local is a well known slogan cited since many years in all marketing books. The REAL thing is not to write about it but TO DO IT!