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During the 10th Forum MotoSolutions - best practices in the automotive industry, held in Cracow (28-29 November), Prizes of the Polish Automotive Industry were awarded for the sixth time.
The prizes were awarded in five categories: Master of Automotive Industry, Polish Supplier, Employer, Top Manager, and CSR.

In the Master of Automotive Industry category, the award went to LG Chem Wrocław Energy Sp. z o.o. The company, which operates in Kobierzyce sub-zone of Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone, belongs to the Korean concern LG. In Q3 2017, the company launched the production of lithium-ion batteries, which are installed in electric cars of major car manufacturers. The company is constantly increasing its production capacities and employment, currently being the largest factory of this kind in Europe. At the moment, LG employs 4.3 thousand people and plans to create further 1.8 thousand jobs over the next two years. By 2021, LG Chem Wrocław Energy Sp. z o.o. will be making up 56 proc. of the global sales of batteries for electric cars. The value of declared investments exceeds PLN 12 bn. Mr Seungse Chang accepted the prize on behalf of the company.

In the Polish Supplier category, the prize went to BURY. The company was established in 1987 in Rzeszów by the present-day owner and president, Henryk Bury. At the end of the 1990s, the company became a European leader in the production and sales of hands-free car phone equipment. In 2001, the production was moved to a Special Economic Zone in Mielec, where the main factory was built and has been expanding ever since. A year later, in 2002, the company established close cooperation with major car manufacturers. Today, the BURY brand is a well-known and globally renowned name, regarded as one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of advanced ITC and connectivity systems for the automotive industry. The solutions of the Polish company can be found in cars of such manufacturers as: VW, Daimler-Benz, BMW, or General Motors.

BURY has four locations in: Löhne (Germany), Mielec and Rzeszów (Poland) and Huamantli (Mexico). BURY employs over 2,300 people, including 450 engineers.

On behalf of the company, the prize was accepted by the President of the Management Board of Bury Sp. z o.o., Bernadetta Dzik.

In the Employer category, the prize was awarded to Valeo Group in Poland. The history of the French producer of car parts goes back to 1996 and the first factory in the city of Zielonki outside Cracow.

Currently, Valeo is one of the largest employers in the sector of automotive suppliers with over 8 thousand staff in five locations.

Its factory in Skawina produces heat exchange systems (that is: engine coolers, oil coolers, turbo-charging air coolers, AC coolers, and complete engine cooling systems - cooling modules), which, apart from their basic function, allow a reduction in fuel consumption and in the emission of harmful compounds, including CO2.

The other facility in Skawina produces ready-made latest generation mechanisms for wind-screen wipers as well as their shafts and blades.
In Czechowice-Dziedzice, the company produces drive systems that aid the reduction of fuel consumption and a lower exhaust emission - starter motors, air dampers, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves and innovative electric turbochargers. The facility also deals with regeneration and giving the second life to products such as alternators, starter motors, dual-mass flywheels and AC compressors. Chrzanów is home to the newest factory, which specialises in the production of most modern lighting systems (front and rear lights).

In Warsaw, the company has its sales and service centre, Valeo Service Eastern Europe, which operates within 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

An added value of Valeo Group in Poland are R&D centres operating in each facility and employing over 370 engineers designing innovative solutions for most factories of the corporation all over the world. The newest Centre, opened in January 2019 in the Chrzanów factory, is to employ more engineers this year, so that the team reaches 120 persons by the end of 2020.

On behalf of the company, the prize was received by the HR Country Director, Maria Langier.

In the Top Manager category, the prize went to the President of the Management Board of Volkswagen Poznań, Mr Jens Ocksen.
In 1985, Mr Ocksen started working at the Commercial Vehicles Facility in Hannover. From 2006 to 2010, he completed his first foreign contract in Poznań as the President of the Management Board and the technical director at Volkswagen Poznań. At this time, the staff of the factory in Antoninek carried out, with the use of cutting-edge technologies, numerous important projects, such as the face-lift of Caddy 3 or the increase of the factory's production capabilities from 650 to 700 cars per day while maintaining the same hall infrastructure. In addition, Volkswagen Poznań Foundry was modernised and over the years it became one of the largest aluminium foundries in Europe and one of the largest suppliers of steering gear casings and cylinder heads for combustion engines.

Having returned to Germany, Jens Ocksen was appointed a Member of the Management Board for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Brands.

Since 1st April 2014, he has once again been the President of the Management Board of Volkswagen Poznań. The appreciation for his achievements was expressed through entrusting him with a project of finding a location for a new factory, meant to become the most modern car factory in the world. After a long search, the city of Września was chosen, where, in 2014, at the area of 110 ha, under the watchful eye of Jens Ocksen, the company started the construction of the new commercial vehicle factory, being the fourth production facility of Volkswagen Poznań. However, the last 6 years of Jens Ocksen's stay in Poland have involved more than the construction of the new Crafter factory and product launch: he has been busy seeking and expanding new competences for Volkswagen Poznań in the area of vehicle structure and purchasing processes, as well as strengthening cooperation with the city of Poznań in the scope of solutions for city logistics and, obviously, constant technological development of factories. Currently, Volkswagen Poznań company consists of 4 facilities (two vehicle factories, a foundry and a special casings plant), which together employ over 11 thousand people, making the company the largest employer in the automotive industry in Poland. For his contribution to the enterprise and social initiatives, Jens Ocksen has also received numerous prizes, trade awards and an honorary doctorate of Poznań University of Technology.

The prize was received on behalf of the laureate by Mr Jarosław Kurosz, Production Director at the plant in Antoninek.

In the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) category, the prize went to Nexteer Automotive Poland. In its two plants in Tychy and Gliwice, the company produces complete sets of steering gears and their components. The supplier has been conducting CSR activities since the 1990s. In 2015, the company decided to integrate these activities into the company's strategy. Nexteer Automotive Poland carries out environmental activities, connected among others with sustainable use of resources, including proper waste management programmes, trainings in conscious use of energy or infrastructure investments. In addition, since 2014, the company has been organising grant programmes. Employees can submit their own ideas for charity activities for any organisation. The management team examine proposals and choose 4 activities for which the winners receive funds.

The numerous CSR activities include:

  • since 2015, Nexteer has maintained constant cooperation with "Iskierka" Foundation, which supports children suffering from cancer, and "Dom Aniołów Stróżów" Foundation;
  • since 2018, with "Zameczek" Children Home.

Each year, in the summer holiday period, the company organises a picnic for the employees and their families. In 2019, the picnic was attended by about 2.5 thousand people. Children cared for by the foundations with which it cooperates on a daily basis are invited to the picnic as well. Nexteer also engages in organising sport events such as mass runs or sport tournaments.

The prize was received on behalf of the company by Mr Piotr Dembiński, the Communication Director.