On August 5, 2022, Mrs Kerstin Griese, member of the Bundestag and Parliamentary State Secretary for Labor and Social Affairs, visited automotive supplier Kiekert at its headquarters in Heiligenhaus. The occasion was the SPD politician’s 18th summer tour, during which she discusses expectations and policy requests with companies and other local institutions.
CEO Mr Jérôme Debreu, four members of the top management of the Group and Works Council Chairman Mr Uwe Höhndorf welcomed Mrs Griese to the headquarters’ showroom. She was offered a tour of the site and was introduced to some key innovations of the technology leader in the field of intelligent safety closure systems.
“We are very pleased to welcome Mrs Griese, because close dialogue with politicians is a critical priority for us, especially in a uniquely challenging international environment. Which will impact our industry up to at least 2026/2027. Considerable change has occurred at Kiekert since Mrs Griese’s last visit and I took the opportunity to provide an insight into the major progress that has been made, the current challenges and the Group’s growth strategy – especially for Heiligenhaus. The consequences of the current crisis are affecting us, but we have the right people, the right products and a clear plan that will lead us back to profitable growth. And Heiligenhaus will play a central role” says CEO Mr Jérôme Debreu.
Kiekert has already decided to relocate production volumes to Heiligenhaus and is currently working on the implementation of this decision. “The complete delocalization of production abroad planned by the previous management was simply wrong. We recognized this with the works council as soon as I was appointed CEO on 5 July 2021, and stopped it immediately by the support of the IG Metall union,” explains Mr Debreu.
In doing so, Mr Debreu refers to the 165-year history of Kiekert in Heiligenhaus and its deeply-rooted DNA as an innovative engineering and family-spirited company, “We shall remain here for at least the next century. We enjoy over 7,000 years of accumulated know-how in the minds of our production employees and the continued presence of the best engineers. This is the basis for the plan of doubling our business volume by 2030.”
In the course of its growth, Kiekert would like to offer career prospects to young people in particular. Thus, we shall create a total of 150 new jobs by 2024, and the company is currently looking for 20 engineers and 20 trainees. “Anyone who is talented and wants to be a part of our industrial leadership success story, please apply immediately,” states the 47-year-old CEO.
Mrs Kerstin Griese is fully aware of the difficult circumstances faced by automotive suppliers and was kind to express enthusiasm about the developments witnessed at Kiekert in Heiligenhaus: “I am very grateful for the exclusive insights which were shared into what makes Kiekert perform and breathe efficiency. I was impressed to hear what Mr. Debreu, his management team and all the employees at Kiekert are achieving in the current tense situation. The passion for respecting the traditions of the company and the ambition for success based on innovation and sound managerial methods both came across in every word. I also find the open and trusting cooperation with the works council remarkable. I am pleased that Heiligenhaus, as a production and development location, does and will play a central strategic role in Kiekert’s growth plans. That is why I am happy to support the preservation and creation of jobs.”