Kluber Plots Aggressive Growth


Last year Kluber Lubrication set up a wholly-owned sales subsidiary in Russia. Last month it founded its own sales company in Thailand. Later this yeara new plant will open in China. And the Munich, Germany-based lubricant manufacturer predicts that it will continue to open subsidiaries at astiff pace in coming years.

We follow the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] around the world, Management Board speaker Claus Langgartner told Lube Report. Wherever themarket is big enough, well set up our own subsidiary.

Last month Kluber Lubrication (Thailand) Co., based in Bangkok, started operations, selling the full range of Klubers products in Thailand and, through distributors, in Laos and Myanmar. Khun Viroch Youttananukorn, the owner and manager of Texmac, Klubers former agent in Thailand, is staying with Kluber in a consulting role, and all the existing Texmac staff have joined the new Kluber company. The nine-person sales team will provide both sales and technical service.

With the new sales company in Thailand, said Langgartner, we can use our Asian network much better. For example, we can support the Japanese and Korean manufacturers both in Thailand as well as in their headquarters.

Kluber currently has 14 production sites around the world, Langgartner said, including a wholly owned operation in southern India that opened in 2005, and joint ventures in Korea and Japan. The company is poised to begin production at a new site in Qingpu, near Shanghai, China, by the end of this year. It will be a joint production site with Klubers sister company, ChemTrend of Howell, Mich.

Last August Kluber set up Kluber Lubrication OOO in Moscow. That subsidiary now has warehouses and a staff of 22, Langgartner said, to service Moscow, St. Petersburg and other manufacturing centers in western Russia. Kluber will continue towork with distributors to serve the far eastern part of the country.

With subsidiaries now in30 countries, Kluber is growing in a very healthy way, Langgartner said. For a middle-sized enterprise,were very global.

Kluber Lubrication is part of Weinheim, Germany-based Freudenberg Group.

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