Issue: Dec 2006


Blowing hot and cold



by James Hilton

“It's gratifying to have Ford America recognize Sanden for being a significant contributor to their success” - Mitsuya Yamamoto, European president of Sanden Corporation.

The two-billion dollar a year Sanden Corporation is a global leader in the manufacture of advanced heating and cooling technologies.

The company has bases in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Tokyo-headquartered corporation, is one of the biggest manufacturers of automotive HVAC equipment. The company has 10,000 people across 23 countries and has a client list that includes all the world’s major car manufacturers.

According to Sanden’s figures, it enjoys a global market share of 25 per cent in the compressors market and a 40 per cent market share in Europe. More than half of Sanden’s revenues come from the automotive market where its product range includes air conditioners, compressors, evaporators, condensers and aluminum heater cores. Some of Sanden’s biggest customers include Honda, Volkswagen, Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, Renault, General Motors, Fiat Auto and DaimlerChrysler.
While Sanden has been in Europe for 30 years, in 2005, Sanden decided to re-organise its operations there under the ‘new Sanden’ strategy. The company made its Bad Nauheim technical centre in Germany its European HQ while enhancing the R&D efforts in the centre. It also expanded its manufacturing capacities in France. In June this year, Sanden opened a 60 million Euro facility in Polkowice, Poland, to manufacture air conditioning compressors was opened which is expected to supply vehicle manufacturers who are setting up bases in Eastern Europe.

In June this year, Sanden was one of 13 suppliers worldwide to get a Gold World Excellence Award by Ford America. Speaking at the award presentation, Tony Brown, vice-president, global purchasing at Ford Services described Sanden as a benchmark for other companies in the automotive industry.

Sanden’s European President, Mitsuya Yamamoto said at the same ceremony: "Receiving such recognition from Ford is a great honor. It's gratifying to have Ford America recognize Sanden for being a significant contributor to their success. We are proud to be among those suppliers who have exceeded Ford's expectations. This award reflects the company's commitment to delivery extra value to its customers. Recent investments in new resources will strengthen still further Sanden's capabilities, enabling the company to continue to deliver world-leading solutions to our first-class customers.”

This is not the first quality award Sanden has won from its OEM clients. It won the Nissan Quality Award, GM Supplier of the Year award, the MAN Trucknology Award in 2006 alone. The latter, is an annual award given by MAN to best-in-class performers within MAN’s global supply base. The selection criteria focuses on performance in quality, reliability, value, innovation and design. Sanden says it won the award through its technical expertise, cost-effectiveness, sophisticated logistics and high quality manufacturing.

The company has the ISO 9001 quality certification and its manufacturing sites maintain management systems that meet the more demanding automotive standards, QS9000 or ISO/TS16949. The company focuses on providing tailored products and systems to customers by using its single-sourcing capability which ensures high quality products and services without any loss of time. Sanden calls this the “Customer First” approach.

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