How many EMOs have you visited in your life?
Endo Hideaki: This is my first EMO. After joining GROB USA in 2013, I participated in two trade fairs IMTS in Chicago for GROB. Since then, we've had several visits from different Japanese customers, such as Honda, Kawasaki and Mitsubishi, with jobs for GROB Bluffton. Furthermore, we were able to establish first contacts via the USA with Japan. We also had first talks with Kawasaki Heavy Industry at the time. An interesting customer that covers everything from ship to airplane motors and lawnmower motors.
What is your impression of the EMO 2019 from the Japanese point of view as the manager of a GROB branch?
The EMO of course impresses with its size alone. It is possibly even bigger than the JIMTOF in Japan. Unfortunately, the EMO takes place far away from Japan so not as many Japanese customers are able to attend. I am still expecting some customer visits.
How does your home market evolve and where do you see future chances for growth?
We have a very different structure and culture in Japan in comparison with Europe. The Japanese mechanical engineering companies are rather small-scale and only have little production space. The lifting capacity of their buildings is very limited to be able to set up large, heavy machines. We especially have to considers this in sales.
In our country, as possibly all over the world, technical support of our customers is very important, preferable in our native language. Therefore, we have recently increased our service staff by two people, and another staff member is currently training in the planning department in the States. I am optimistic that there is great potential for GROB machines in Japan.