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Sevcon expands into Germany

Friday 9 November 2012 5:48

Design and manufacturing firm Sevcon is establishing a new continental office as it aims to break into the German automotive sector and replicate its recent domestic success.

One of the motor controllers produced by the Gateshead-based company was recently chosen for a new electric super-car by one of the UK’s leading car brands.

This followed Sevcon’s success in being chosen by Renault to provide the motor controller for its Twizy electric vehicle, which was launched earlier this year.

Now Sevcon is targeting its range of electric controllers at the German vehicle makers with the opening of a new office and the appointment of a seasoned industry professional as its German business development director.

Helmut Ollhäuser, 52, will be based near Stuttgart and joins Sevcon from Flextronics Automotive where he was senior director, design and engineering.

His key clients included; Ford, Daimler, VW, Audi and BMW as well as related Tier One suppliers.

Sevcon’s president and chief executive officer Matt Boyle explained that the German move follows its recent success in being chosen by one of the UK’ leading brands to partner in its latest super-car projects.

He said: “We’re not in a position to say which company it is but this is a major achievement for Sevcon and justifies our recent efforts to develop a presence in the automotive sector on top of our traditional industrial markets.

“All of the leading car brands are now looking to develop their own electric and hybrid vehicles and our aim is to partner these companies in their efforts.

“In the automotive industry most of the new technologies are developed in super-car projects and over the years as the technology becomes less expensive, easier to understand and make it is filtered down into the mass-produced car market.

“This is what happened with ABS (anti-lock braking systems) and this is how we see demand for our own range of motor controllers developing.”

Mark Durrant, Sevcon’s vice president of global sales, said: “As we build our presence in the electric vehicle business worldwide, targeting the German-based makers is critical so recruiting a seasoned professional such as Helmut is a major step for us.

“We can now take our advanced range of electric vehicle motor controllers to the top German vehicle makers with the confidence of strong local representation”.