Marzio Raveggi, a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Torino Polytechnic, since 2003 has been MD of Johnson Controls Automotive Italia, a Member of the Board of JC Automotive Europe South America South Africa and, more recently, of JC China and JC Serbia. Previously he was CEO of Fata Aluminium SpA (1997-2003), and before that, he worked for SKF for 15 years, becoming head of the Automotive Europe business unit in 1994, and for IDEA (1985-1988). He is a member of the National Executive of Federmeccanica, on the Board of the Unione Industriale of Torino and the AMMA Executive, vice chairman of the ANFIA Components Group and Chairman of ACM of Melfi.
What role does Johnson Controls' Fiat Business Unit, which has its HQ in the province of Torino, play within the group?
I am on the Management Board of Johnson Controls Automotive, and our Local Unit is responsible for monitoring the business opportunities for our main customer, the Fiat Group, all over the world. As a result, it is up to us to evaluate, to obtain from the parent company and to put in place all the capital spending programmes that are indispensable to guarantee the best industrial development for the company in response to the prospects offered by the market.
How have you tackled the changing context in the last decade?
In this last decade, as well as having the good fortune to be involved in the launch of many successful cars, we have also had some difficult moments, but we have managed to remain competitive and even to overcome the "storm" of 2009. However, the growing number of temporary workers reflects the uncertainty that we are still facing today. But I do believe firmly that a centre of manufacturing and research excellence like the Torino area, recognised all over Europe, has the capacities and skills to find the necessary impetus for a successful industrial rebirth.
Over the years, have you developed collaboration agreements with the academic world and local research bodies?
The culture of collaboration is in the company's genes. I can quote two significant examples: for more than a decade we have been working closely with Centro Ricerche Fiat to develop strategic innovative projects and with Torino Polytechnic, a centre of excellence for engineering expertise. I believe that a company's ability to innovate is the basis for its growth, and being able to develop it together with organisations that are present in Piemonte, which know how to combine professional expertise and "savoir faire", is a source of great pride for us.
Can the skills present in Piemonte guarantee a high level of competitiveness for a company like JC, which develops products with a high added value?
My answer can only be positive if I look back over this area's industrial history and if I consider the level of skill and the infrastructure that is available. But there is room for improvement. For example, we need a more favourable tax system, and leaner bureaucracy.
Johnson Controls, with headquarters in Milwaukee (WI) is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries, with 142,000 employees.
3 Business Units
Building Efficiency - 2010 sales (in millions) $12,802
- Delivers products, services and solutions that increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs for more than one million customers.
- Leading provider of equipment, controls and services for heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration and security systems for buildings.
- Manages 1.5 billion square feet of corporate real estate for many of the world's largest companies.
- 500 branch offices in more than 150 countries.
Automotive Experience - 2010 sales (in millions) $16,610
- Global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics.
- Supports all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities.
- Global capabilities to supply more than 30 million cars per year.
- More than 200 plants worldwide.
Power Solutions - 2010 sales (in millions) $4,893
- The global leader in lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.
- Supplies more than one third of the world's lead-acid batteries to major automakers and aftermarket retailers.
- Johnson Controls-Saft is the first company in the world to produce lithium-ion batteries for mass production hybrid vehicles.
- Lead acid batteries sold under customer brands as well as our own Varta®, Heliar®, LTH® and Optima® brand names.
- 35 plants worldwide.