Monsieur Lepage, how long have you been working for GROB?
I have been working in the mechanical engineering sector for 22 years, with expertise in aerospace, and for GROB France for three years. To understand more about GROB, its organization and philosophy, visiting this In-house Exhibition is very important for me.
This is your first visit to a GROB In-house Exhibition. What is your impression?
Unfortunately, due to corona-related circumstances, we were not able to act as we wanted in France in recent years, but my first GROB trade show was already the virtual open house last year. I was also already able to visit the last EMO 2019 as a GROB employee. The In-house Exhibition now is of course something very special and very impressive.
Is it an informative trade fair visit for you or do you also expect customers?
I am very pleased and also a bit proud that we can welcome quite a number of interested customers here at the trade show, although it is not easy to convince French customers to visit an In-house Exhibition in Mindelheim. From Western France, we expect important customers from the die and mold sector and in total there will be 15 customers from almost all sectors, mainly aerospace, medical technology and automation.
Are these new customers or customers who already work with GROB machines?
Both. First and foremost, these are customers who are interested in GROB as a company. Usually, they know both the product and GROB service either from personal experience or from hearsay. Particularly against the background of the Corona pandemic, it is important that after a long time we can once again maintain direct contact, including with various employees at GROB. For us French, it is also very important to understand GROB as a brand.
How large is the GROB branch in France and how has business developed since its establishment?
The French GROB branch is located in Senlis, northeast of Paris. The first important thing for us was to establish a clear sales structure and to increase awareness of the GROB brand. Against this background, the GROB In-house Exhibition is also of particular importance. We currently have four salesmen and four service technicians at GROB France. With our office staff, we have a total of eleven employees.
What is the machining business like in France?
In France, we tend to have a small-structured corporate culture. Companies with 100 employees are already very large enterprises. Thus, the universal machine business with its 5-axis machines is primarily important for us in France. In this context, GROB automation solutions are also playing an increasingly important role. For example, of the last three machines sold, two were equipped with automation.
The Moroccan market may also become interesting for us in the future. Here, more and more French companies from the aerospace and automotive sectors are setting up new production plants due to the low labor costs. The first mechanical engineering trade shows have already been held in Casablanca and Tangier.
What will you take back to France from this trade show?
I am very pleased that I was able to show many French customers the GROB company with its fascinating products and its innovative technologies. Even I was able to learn a lot about the company and its extensive product range at this In-house Exhibition.
Thank you very much for the interview!