The share of the Portuguese strategic partner in the automobile division of the Matador industrial group has grown to 60%. The transaction also includes the relocation of the European headquarters division of the Body in White (BIW) Sodecia Automotive group to Vrable.
The increased stake is linked to Sodecia Automotive Europe‘s (SAE) entry into the group in autumn 2017, when it acquired a cca 30% stake in Matador Automotive. "We are continuing our strategy of expanding Matador Automotive's involvement in delivering platform parts for auto-producers, which has been a major automotive industry trend for some time now. With a global partner this process, of course, is faster," explains Štefan Rosina, president of the Matador Group. The stakeholders have agreed not to disclose the financial value of the transaction.
Rosina adds that access to orders at platform level represents stability and potential new jobs at Matador Automotive operations in Vrable, Nitra, as well as at Liberec (Czech Republic) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). Today’s auto-producers source suppliers that can deliver components for models on the same platform not only in one region, but in several regions or even around the world. "Without Sodecia, we wouldn’t have gained access to platform orders, even though the auto-producers also sought a supplier in our region. On the other hand, Sodecia has gained access to Matador Automotive‘s capacity in a strong Central European region," he explains.
The strategic-dimension of the cooperation was confirmed by Rosina, as well as the newest strategic step to move the European BIW group headquarters of the Sodecia group from Germany to Matador Automotive in Vrable. "The European headquarters will create new jobs, and Sodecia wants to attract experienced people from the automotive sector across Slovakia," adds Rosina. For example, the new head of the European headquarters is Vojtech Žák – the former CEO of Matador Automotive. According to Rosina, the Portuguese partner’s decision to relocate the European headquarters confirms the high level of Vrable plant and represents an additional key extension of expertise.
The European headquarters will oversee comprehensive projects in the delivery of structural car parts, including trade and negotiations with customers. It will cover the Sodecia Automotive Europe production plants in Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal and South Africa, as well as Matador Automotive operations in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Russia.
The sale of another stake in Matador Automotive accords with the long-term strategy of Matador, which aims to focus more on areas with higher added value such as technology services and solutions related to Industry 4.0. These include the design, development and production of robotic and automated lines, the development and production of tools for industrial lines, the development of material and joining technologies, and the production of prototypes.
As part of this strategy, Matador also opened a new design studio for its subsidiary Aufeer Design this September. Matador has up to 400 top engineers and designers from around the world in software engineering and design. "We believe that although these divisions are not part of the transaction with Sodecia Automotive, we will find synergies and cooperation opportunities in these areas," adds Rosina.
About the Matador Group
Matador Automotive Vrable (MAV) is a division of the Slovak industrial group Matador which specialises in auto parts production. MAV has plants in Vrable, Nitra, Liberec (Czech Republic), and Nizhny Novgorod where Matador mainly produces for the Volkswagen Group in Russia. Matador has approximately 1700 employees in its automotive division. Customers include Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Jaguar Land Rover.
The Matador Group also focuses on R&D – within the subsidiary Aufeer Design, as well as Matador Industries and Matador Automation that concentrate on engineering and industrial automation. In 2017, the Matador Group had over 2500 employees and turnover of over EUR 200 million together with its automotive division.
About the Sodecia Group
Portuguese Sodecia is a global automotive supplier with branches in approximately 50 locations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. The Group has approximately 5000 employees around the world. In addition to structural car parts, it also produces chassis components and supplies engine parts. The group is also active in R&D with three technology centres in Porto (Portugal), Hanover (Germany), and Detroit (USA). Turnover in 2017 was over EUR 750 million.