Jebsen Automotive Technik maintains OEM focus while strengthening its aftermarket offerings

From distributorship to joint ventures, Mr Arnie Jensen, General Manager of Jebsen Automotive Technik (JAT) discusses how the business is evolving with China’s automotive industry.


Mr Arnie Jensen, General Manager of Jebsen Automotive Technik (JAT)


Can you please tell us more about JAT’s current market focus?

As a subsidiary of Jebsen Industrial, JAT specialises in serving China’s medium-to-high end OEM manufacturers and the aftermarket sector. We have, and will continue to, add value to our customers while supplying branded OEM components, workshop equipment and aftermarket spare parts from world-leading brands to support the passenger car and commercial vehicle segments. This is, after all, where our roots lie. Jebsen first entered China’s aftermarket and auto parts industry in partnership with Bosch in 1921. Since then, for over 90 years, we have remained steadfast in our role, developing strong local expertise and building a strong region-wide sales and support network. In 2007, we refined our business strategy with the addition of the joint venture model. This collaborative management model allows us to help our foreign partners localise their technologies and support OEM manufacturers with relevant, competitive, value-added solutions.


In what ways is JAT developing its aftermarket business?

We believe that the aftermarket sector will continue to grow strongly in Greater China. This is a business area that we are actively developing in several ways. For the Hong Kong market, we have recently added three new principals to boost our automotive aftermarket offerings – Hella, Dreumex and SKF Bearing. We are particularly excited about introducing Hella. The brand has been around for 100 years and is one of the world’s top 50 automotive parts suppliers. They are known for their lighting and electronics components and systems. They have appointed us to distribute their newly developed universal parts segment which include sealed maintenance free (SMF) automotive batteries, wiper blades, braking products, bulbs, horns and automotive accessories. We have also brought in SKF Bearing to commercial vehicle and marine segments.


How about the OEM market?

We are fortunate to work with many renowned automotive manufacturers in China – including BMW, Volkswagen, General Motors, Peugeot-Citroen, Fiat, Continental and many others. The quality of the products we recommend and supply them are naturally of the highest standards, but a key differentiating factor is our service delivery. About two years back, we set up a dedicated logistics hub with PROFIL in Shanghai so that our customers can enjoy speedy door-to-door direct distribution and flexible payment arrangements in the local currency. Our entire supply chain management has been optimised and this translates into direct benefits for our OEM customer base. Through our joint ventures, we are also importing advanced technology from abroad and localising these to create cost-effective solutions for OEM manufacturers.


Can you give us an update on JAT’s joint ventures?

Our three joint venture businesses in Dalian, China are faring well. Mitec-Jebsen , our first joint venture, raised production to one million units of its balancer shaft systems in 2013 because of market demand stemming not only from China-based international manufacturers but maturing domestic players as well. Meanwhile, Jebsen-TCG has become the main supplier of high-performance oil pumps to Volkswagen (China) and will collaborate with the global auto brand on its next generation of variable oil pumps. There are also plans for Jebsen-TCG to go into water pump production sometime in 2016. Even our third and youngest joint venture, MSR-Jebsen Technologies, has  started the productionin Q2 this year. Its focus on precision components for direct fuel-injection systems is very much aligned with the industry’s call for more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly solutions, so we are confident of its future.  


Will there be a fourth joint venture?

Yes, we are now in talks with a German company to set up a new joint venture that manufactures steering systems and associated components in China. Our partner has complete solutions for hydraulic, mechanical, and electric systems and applications for every vehicle type. As always, our role is to facilitate the localisation of our partner’s advanced technology so that OEM manufacturers can benefit from good solutions in a cost-effective way. We are confident that this will appeal to the market, just like our three other joint ventures have. We should be ready to announce more details about this partnership soon.


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