She’s new in town and she brings with her the North American headquarters of Freudenberg, staff and all. She’s Leesa Smith, a native of New Jersey and the German-based corporation’s North American president and regional representative.
It was Smith who made the decision to move the company’s Regional Corporate Center from Manchester, N.H., to Plymouth, Mich.
The change was strategic. It put the company, with sales to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and aftermarket customers at 24 percent of its global business, near the center of the Detroit-based automobile industry. Smith greets a visitor with a warm smile, a stack of handsome volumes of corporate literature, and a willingness to answer questions. She does, however, avoid answering a question about her company’s plans for a major announcement to be made sometime in 2014.
She’s optimistic about the future. Speaking on behalf of the corporation, she says, “We see growth opportunities in North America.” The corporation’s 2013 annual report states its goals: “Freudenberg is a globally active technology company offering its customers innovative, sophisticated and tailor-made solutions. Seals, vibration control components, filters, nonwovens, surface treatment products, medical device components, mechatronic products (mechanical, electronic and other technical areas), release agents, specialty lubricants, mechanical cleaning products, software solutions and IT services all make a valuable contribution to thousands of applications in over 30 markets.”
One of those product lines, the release agent, is sprayed on as a liquid, its purpose being to allow a product to come out of its mold without sticking.
The report lists remarkable achievements. “Without Freudenberg,” the report says, “cars would emit more CO2, indoor air would not be clean and wounds would not heal as fast.” The company is the world’s largest producer of elastomeric seals and custom-molded products.
Source: Corp! Magazine
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