Injection press supplier Battenfeld of America Inc. plans to decentralize its operations by opening sales and service centers in Detroit and other regions, the company's German parent announced May 5. Battenfeld GmbH said the company wants to get closer to U.S. customers.
The U.S. headquarters will remain at its current location in West Warwick, R.I. That facility will continue to house administration and a warehouse for machinery, the company said.
In one key personnel change, Wolfgang Meyer, long-time president of Battenfeld of America, will run the new Michigan center. The automotive market accounts for more than half of its U.S. sales, according to the company.
Thomas Lenz, Battenfeld's current director of Brazilian operations, will take on overall management for Battenfeld of America.
Battenfeld is owned by SMS AG, based in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The Detroit-area center will open by mid-2000, SMS said in a news release. Later this year, Battenfeld plans to add two more centers, one in New Jersey to serve the New York/New Jersey area and a second in Greenville, S.C., for the southeastern United States.
SMS is considering opening more regional centers in the future, depending on market requirements.
Battenfeld already runs an independent regional center in Mississauga, Ontario, serving the greater Toronto area.
Battenfeld assembles presses at a headquarters plant in Meinerzhagen, Germany, and two plants in Kottingbrunn, Austria.