BATZ celebrates its 50th anniversary

With an institutional event as a tribute to its founders on 10 May, and an open day on 11 May. The Batz Group’s order books currently stand at more than €100m. The Group’s international sales account for more than 85% of total sales.
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May 13, 2013

On Friday, 10 May, the Bizkaia-based co-operative BATZ, part of MONDRAGON Corporation, held its 50th anniversary with an institutional event in which the leading authorities from the Provincial Council of Bizkaia will be taking part together with other local officials and members of the co-operative group’s management team.

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The event started at 10:15 in the morning in Igorre (Bizkaia) and will consist of a tribute to the company’s founders with the unveiling of a monolith in their honour. There will also be the presentation of a book covering the most important milestones in the co-operative’s history and the screening of a video summarising its development. What’s more, on 10 May there will be a number of visits to the Igorre plant facilities and finally there will be a lunch for all those invited to the event.

Txema Gisasola eta Jose Luis Bilbao

On 11 May, there will be another event, more internal in nature, with an open for all members and their families.

Batz’s history

BATZ was set up in 1963 by a group of 18 young people in order to promote industrial employment of a co-operative nature in an area in a markedly rural setting. The initial project involved the design and manufacture of dies for the car industry. After overcoming initial teething problems and a number of structural crises over its 50 years, the company still has its headquarters in Igorre (Arratia, Bizkaia) in a plant where it provides employment for 630 people.

Its business areas in the automotive sector include die making and its associated engineering services; automotive systems, with the design and manufacture of many control and passive safety mechanisms (spare wheel kits, parking brakes, pedal boxes, gear levers or active headrests) as well as the design and manufacture of structural parts and aerodynamic components in technical composites. The company has also consolidated its activity focusing on the development and manufacture of structural parts for concentrating solar power plants, together with their assembly and maintenance.

Over these last fifty years, that initial project has been transformed into a strong, global industrial group, with a total of 14 production plants in countries like Brazil, China, Mexico, Czech Republic or Germany. With 1,430 direct jobs, in 2012 the company posted sales figures in excess of €220m.

The future

Keeping alive its initial philosophy and commitment to job creation in the community, the company has recently renewed a number of global contracts with some its main customers like General Motors and Volkswagen to manufacture different automotive systems.

In the case of General Motors, it is the “E2XX Project” (previously known as Epsilon) that has been renewed. This requires the Basque co-operative to supply pedal boxes and gear levers worth a total of €77m for a number of GM/Opel models worldwide, from its plants in Igorre, China, Mexico and the Czech Republic.

In the case of Volkswagen, a contract was recently won to supply jacks for the “MLBevo” platform, which includes all the brand’s top range vehicles (Audi and Porsche). The contract is worth a total of €19m and the products will be manufactured and supplied from Batz’s Igorre plant.

BATZ has also won important contracts worth €30m for the manufacture of stamping tools for Jaguar, BMW and Volvo. The company’s composites division BATZ Lightweight Technologies is also currently on the verge of winning a number of significant orders.

Finally, as far as its process of diversification into the field of renewable energy is concerned, the firm is continuing to expand globally, with the opening of a new production plant in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) in 2012.

All this points to a promising future for BATZ, as it hopes to achieve a total of 1,600 jobs and post more than €300m in sales by 2016.

Automotive systems.