THE UNDISPUTED LEADER IN SEMI-TRAILERS UNDERGOES ITS GREAT TRANSFORMATION
Founded in Brazil more than 70 years ago, Randoncorp is a global leader in the sectors of semi-trailers, rail wagons, auto parts and services. Today, despite the cautious scenario in the automotive sector worldwide, the group is strongly investing in its Auto Parts Vertical to achieve the results targeted by 2023 and offer the market increasingly innovative and competitive products.
We talked exclusively to Ricardo Escoboza, COO of Auto Parts Vertical from Randoncorp, about the prospects for expansion of the group worldwide and the investments of the company to leverage its operating results, focusing on the Lean Transformation Journey of one of his companies, Suspensys.
Randoncorp is organized in several business verticals: Frasle Mobility, Suspensys, Castertech, and Jost Brasil. What is the importance of the auto parts vertical within Randoncorp? What does the repositioning of the company – as a large corporation – brings to the auto parts vertical in the group?
The business verticals of Randoncorp are complementary and have several synergies. The Auto Parts Vertical has been one of the growth focuses of the company, in line with its strategy of diversification of solutions and markets. The four companies – Castertech, JOST Brasil, Master and Suspensys – bring together 12 industrial units, of which 11 in Brazil and 1 abroad (Suspensys Mexico), which provide solutions for the main global OEM companies of trucks and buses, implement companies, aftermarket segment, and manufacturers of agricultural equipment.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Autoparts Vertical accounted for about 28% of the company’s consolidated net revenue, which was R$ 2.7 billion in the period, a 7.3% increase when compared to 1Q22. The index is a little lower than in 2022. We were impacted by the drop in auto parts sales volumes due to production stoppages by OEMs. However, there are signs of recovery and we remain aligned with the company’s transformation movement, moving forward to offer the market increasingly innovative and competitive products. In this sense, the ESG agenda is our priority – we invest heavily in innovation, always looking toward a sustainable future.
Auto Parts Vertical from Randoncorp
Despite the cautious scenario for the automotive sector in Brazil, the auto parts industry is optimistic about the prospects in 2023. Official data from Brazil indicate that the net revenue of the automotive components industry had an increase of 8.5% compared to 2021. For 2023, the estimate is a growth of 6.1%. In this sense, how important is the Group’s global positioning as a strategy to expand exports?
In addition to continuous investments in innovation and in the ESG agenda, the internationalization is a priority for Randoncorp for the next years. The goal of expanding our geographical participation is to bring even more resilience to business, thus reducing the volatility of different markets. We have already brought mobility solutions to five continents. Along with the international expansion, our strategy is to maintain a diversified and robust business model, relying on synergies and integration among units as a mechanism for sustainable and continuous growth.
Randoncorp has recently announced that it will expand, until the end of the year, the production of 100% electric trailers. In auto parts, Suspensys seems to collaborate directly in this strategy with the recent opening of a unit for the production of electric axles and batteries, the first one in South America, designed for trailers, semi-trailers, trucks, buses and agricultural equipment. What are the next investments planned and the plans regarding sustainable mobility?
This unprecedented project demonstrates the strategic role of a Brazilian company in the development of new technologies and represents the path towards the internationalization of our company. Randoncorp is currently the eighth largest company in the world in its sector and our goal is to end 2023 among the six major players worldwide. In April, we opened Suspensys E-Mobility, an unprecedented undertaking in Latin America in the segment of electrified products for transportation. This is an e-plant that has inserted us into a new segment: assembly and production of batteries. Through its own projects, the unit is able to supply light vehicles, commercial vehicles, agricultural implements, and other industrial applications, with various manufacturing possibilities and appropriate destination for the components produced. The plant also absorbs the manufacturing of e-Sys, an innovative electric auxiliary traction system developed and marketed by the company. We are very proud of this project, which is 100% an accomplishment of our Brazilian engineering, with national resources, both from the material point of view and from the multidisciplinary teams of professionals involved.
Still on Suspensys. Suspensys was established in 1997 as a complementary unit of Randon Companies, and initially supplied components for the trailers manufactured by Randon division. The times of crisis (2014 and 2020) proved to be two great levers for the growth of the company. What were the main milestones that drove this growth? And what are the growth expectations for the coming years?
Suspensys completes 26 years in 2023 with a development path that makes us very proud. Currently, the company is one of the leading global manufacturers of axle and suspension systems for commercial vehicles. In 2022, it reached a net revenue of R$ 1.7 billion and produced 186 thousand units, among axles and suspensions. This amount corresponded to 41% of the revenue of Autopeças vertical in that period.
Along this path, some movements were decisive and worked as drivers of growth. One of them was in 2019, when we presented for the first time the Hybrid R line of semi-trailers, manufactured by Randon and equipped with the pioneering e-Sys technology. There, we inaugurated a new phase, which marked our entry into the electrification market. From the disruptive idea that was the e-Sys, we have advanced a lot and will advance even more.
What does the company expect to achieve with the Lean Transformation? What are the possible impacts of this journey on Suspensys’ results and on the group as a whole?
Within its growth strategy, Suspensys has strongly invested in the excellence of its operations and in a robust transformation of its processes. This is how Suspensys’ Lean Journey was created, which is divided into 3 pillars.
- Strategy: Innovation in production processes (Master Plan, Smart Manufacturing, Detailing of operational projects, Value Engineering)
- Execution: principles of Lean Manufacturing (Production at synchronized pace, Maximum value stream, Disturbance-free processes, Structured problem solving, Competitiveness)
- Sustainment: Leadership, People and Team Development (Operational maturity management, Cooperation and synergy in best practices, Continuous improvement culture, HSE)
As Randoncorp, we are immersed in a phase of transformation and expansion. To achieve our goals and be successful in our growth strategies, we seek to reflect internally what the market already perceives more clearly.
Innovation is part of our history and is materialized in our products and in the transformation of our culture.In this context, Lean Transformation is necessary and strategic to enhance the consistency of our processes. We are implementing a series of improvement initiatives and, for this, we associate ourselves with the competence of partners who have the same bold vision. Staufen has been very relevant in this process, helping us to enhance operational quality and excellence.
For a transformation to happen, the leadership must be prepared to support their teams, motivating people and driving the change. As COO of the group, how do you see the role of top management in the development of the leaderships that will support the expansion projects of RandonCorp?
At Randoncorp, we encourage a diverse and inclusive environment for our employees, customers, communities and partners, always reinforcing one of our principles: valued and respected people. Within the context of important changes faced by the company, our teams follow up the challenges that arise with dynamism and engagement. There is a collective effort of our leaderships to value and highlight the protagonism of our employees. After all, positive results are possible thanks to the efforts of everyone who is part of Randoncorp.
billion € net revenue in 2022
in which Randoncorp is present
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