Cooper-Standard CEO looks before leap into new markets

By Allison Strouse
RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

Published: February 18, 2013 9:04 am ET
Updated: February 18, 2013 9:19 am ET

Image By: Cooper-Standard Jeffrey Edwards

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Extrusion, Pipe/Profile/Tubing

NOVI, MICH. -- Jeffrey Edwards, Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc.'s new CEO, knows the value of plans. He made, and is pursuing, a 120-day plan after taking the top job at the automotive products maker last October, succeeding James McElya, who retired.

Part one of that plan: Spend 45 days listening and learning. The former vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls Inc.'s Asia business visited Novi, Mich.-based Cooper-Standard operations and customers throughout the world.

"That resulted with me going to nine countries, meeting with 12 customers and hundreds of Cooper-Standard employees and our largest shareholder," said the veteran of 28 years in the automotive industry.

"You can't run the place if you don't know what the products are and what the capital requirements are," he said. "The reason you need to understand [this] is because you are responsible for setting the groundwork, the strategy and changes to the strategy."

Edwards and Cooper-Standard now are in the second part of the planning campaign: digesting what he learned, developing strategies. One outgrowth of that effort already is clear: Cooper-Standard is going to Russia and intends to increase its business with automotive original equipment manufacturers in several other nations as well.

"We will expand in Russia this year in a significant way," Edwards said. The site for Cooper-Standard's first manufacturing operation in that nation is still being studied.

Russia is just one of several markets where the company is looking to do business.

"If we're going to continue to be successful and grow our business with the Korean OEMs, the Chinese OEMs, with the Japanese OEMs, then we need infrastructure within those markets."

Having a manufacturing presence in key countries is part of what Edwards sees as a three-pronged approach to being a leader in the company's field.

"It's products, geography and customers," he said.

It comes down to finding out what each region's customers need, he said.

"You look at the opportunities in Russia, you look at the opportunities in other Eastern European countries that are about growth," he said. "You look at the different European customers that we do business with today, and it isn't the same for each."

The firm has to start taking an individual approach with each market, not assuming the problems in North America are the same as in Asia, he said.

"If you're the leader in technology, if you're the leader in your market, then why can't you be a leader for each and every customer in each and every region?" he asked. "It isn't going to work to be the leader in two markets out of the world. You're going to have to be able to produce in five or seven different markets if you're going to be the leader."


Comments

Cooper-Standard CEO looks before leap into new markets

By Allison Strouse
RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

Published: February 18, 2013 9:04 am ET
Updated: February 18, 2013 9:19 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Huntingdon Fiberglass launching second line

April 16, 2014 2:18 pm ET

Huntingdon Fiberglass Products LLC is getting set to start up a second production line later this year and hire 15-20 new employees as it sees demand ...    More

New Tigre, ADS JV aims to open more doors for Tigre in US

April 16, 2014 12:15 pm ET

A new joint venture between Tigre S.A. Brazil, a leading PVC pipe maker, and Advanced Drainage Systems Inc., the world's largest high-density...    More

Associated Materials Group withdraws plan for initial public offering

April 16, 2014 10:16 am ET

Associated Materials Group Inc. of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a manufacturer and distributor of exterior residential building products in the United...    More

Vi-Lux expands capacity, with room already laid out for future growth

April 15, 2014 2:00 pm ET

Vi-Lux Building Products Inc. just expanded its extrusion capacity by 15 percent — and while work crews were inside the Napanee, Ontario,...    More

JSW looks to improve equipment servicing in Europe through contract

April 15, 2014 11:09 am ET

Tokyo-based manufacturer of extruding machinery Japan Steel Works (JSW) has signed an agreement with a Dutch company to help it improve servicing on i...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events