New key account with focus on additional mobility fields / Exterior solutions also in view
With a strategic and personnel reorientation, the GRAFE GROUP in Blankenhain is preparing for the rapid upheavals in the global automotive sector. “We have reorganized our automotive team and are expanding the spectrum from pure passenger cars to largely all mobility fields,” explains Managing Director Matthias Grafe. The outstanding expertise in colors and design for special interior applications that has been built up over many years is to be extended to the exterior sector as well.
The long-standing cooperation between the masterbatch specialist and the global chemical company Röhm, which was intensified in the middle of last year, is to play a key role here. The colored PMMA molding compounds can be used for applications in the visible area of vehicles, such as LED lighting, headlights, lighting technology, smart displays, spoilers or trim. The focus is explicitly not only on cars, but also on mobility segments such as commercial vehicles, rail, aviation, through to e-scooters or air cabs.
In order to open up other business areas in the field of mobility, GRAFE is bundling its competencies and is broadening its position with a new organization. With Robin Stöckel as Key Account Manager “Mobility Solutions” and strategic head of the division, as well as Kai Eckstein and Tony Pitkamin (both Key Account “Mobility Solutions”), a team of long-standing employees has been put together to focus on this area and also to relieve and support colleagues who receive inquiries from precisely these other mobility fields.
The background to this is the massive changes in the vehicle sector, driven primarily by e-mobility. Due to its long expertise in the field of master sample panels for special interior solutions in the automotive sector, GRAFE has made a name for itself in the industry and works with almost all well-known OEMs. This know-how is now to be applied to other mobility fields and especially to the exterior sector.
In electric cars in particular, the proportion of transparent materials is significantly higher than in conventional vehicles. They are also operated almost exclusively via touchscreens. GRAFE is ideally positioned in this area thanks to its long-standing cooperation with Röhm. On July 1, 2020, this culminated in GRAFE taking over production and sales tasks for the small-volume business of Röhm’s colored Plexiglas molding compounds on the German market.
“We see e-mobility in particular as an industry with considerable growth potential, since thanks to plastic solutions there is a reduction in weight and thus an increase in range. In addition, smart and transparent surfaces have become indispensable here,” reports Stöckel, who is the contact person for OEMs and coordinates the sales representatives who are already managing joint projects in the new fields of application.