What are your previous experiences at the EMO 2019?
Michel Gras: The current EMO cannot be compared to previous EMOs. The GROB stand is particularly impressive to me this year. As a newcomer to the GROB family, not only can I maintain customer contacts, but also meet many new colleagues. The GROB portfolio, which is shown here in a compressed form, as well as the positive attitude of the GROB colleagues and their enthusiasm, are very impressive.
What is your impression of the fair from the French point of view as the manager of a GROB branch?
First, you need to know that our French customers' focus isn't really on the EMO. Real Frenchmen are Gauls and do not come to Hanover. They visited the EMO when it was still held in Paris. Our customers are still interested in what is happening at the fair. They are interested in synergies from system/universal machines and automation, especially at mid-sized companies.
What is your takeaway from the fair?
My great impression of the GROB colleagues and their great commitment and helpfulness. Furthermore, I was able to gather a lot of information about GROB products. I also liked having my salesman, Lepage Florent Léon, here, and that he was able to experience the GROB spirit as well.
How does the French mechanical engineering market evolve and where do you see future chances for growth?
The French mechanical engineering market is very competitive and has a variety of different manufactures. Currently, we are working on setting up a clear sales structure with a clean cover and a targeted job and customer list. Our customers can mostly be found in the areas of aerospace and mold construction. The important thing is to make the brand GROB better known in France.
In front of this background, we really benefited from the larger order from ABB/Renault/Nissan to produce a stator. The modules for winding technology are from GROB, the automation from ABB. GROB France is sending a technician for support of this order. Overall, it is our goal to sell ca. 20 to 30 universal machining centers in France per year.