autex Belgium Celebrates 25 Years of Supporting Customers

The story begins in 1991 when the Kautex-group decided to build a new plant in Belgium. The first plastic fuel tanks (PFTs) were all set to leave the new factory in Tessenderlo by 1992. Ford was the very first customer for the Ford Transit. A few months later, VW entered the plant with the VW Golf and then Ford again with the Mondeo.

Many more contracts followed. By 1998 KBL was fully built and by 2005 the plant delivered 2 million PFTs/year – the record year of production for the site. KBL was also the first Kautex plant to deliver to French customers (Renault Kangoo) and was the pilot plant for the introduction of twin molding and SAP.

Philip Irving, VP Manufacturing Europe & SA and Manfred Böddeker, Manager Core Functions joined the festivities in Tessenderlo. Mr. Böddeker always had close relations with the plant and was already a part of the KBL team when the very first PFT in Belgium was produced in 1992.

‘In the beginning of my career at Kautex I spent several weeks in Belgium to learn," said Philip Irving. "I was impressed with the skills and dedication within the staff at Belgium. When I was Plant Manager in Japan, there were a lot of similarities between the Belgian and Japanese workforce. Both teams exchanged lots of information and lessons learned."

"The KBL team has set many benchmarks for professionalism and drive for performance,” Klaus König, Executive Vice President, NPI wrote in a note to the KBL team. “The safety and quality culture is exemplary. And most important, the employees respect each other and demonstrate the same towards our company. It is always enjoyable to stay in KBL.”

With cake and non-alcoholic champagne, they toasted to the next 25 years. 

Many congratulations to entire KBL staff for all their efforts and great performance.