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CIMC subsidiary opening German plant

Sept. 21, 2012
Burg Silvergreen, a new manufacturer of trailers headquartered Neu-Ulm, Germany, is beginning to market its vehicles in selected European countries

Burg Silvergreen, a new manufacturer of trailers headquartered Neu-Ulm, Germany, is beginning to market its vehicles in selected European countries.

A new factory in Günzburg will be completed this year. The company already has manufacturing sites in Belgium and the Netherlands and can rely on a network of supplier production sites in China. Following completion in the spring, the new factory will serve as the parent plant and administrative head office for the new brand and will work in a production network with the two existing production sites and the suppliers. Most products will then be produced in Günzburg and distributed to the European target markets from there.

The range of products will initially cover Europe’s most important and marketable vehicles--curtainside trailers with sliding tarpaulins or platform gates, refrigerated semitrailers, container chassis, swap bodies and swap trailers. All vehicles are based on a modular system that enables the company to offer a broad range of designs that use a large number of common parts and system components. This enables Burg Silvergreen to combine the advantages of series production with customer-specific made-to-order production and implement this to customers' advantage.

The new trailer brand will initially concentrate on the strong European transport and commercial vehicle markets in Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Russia. The sales area will then be enlarged from 2013 to more European countries, in Scandinavia, Western and Southern Europe, and in the rest of Eastern Europe.

Despite the comparatively high labour costs in Germany, the new trailer manufacturer opted for a new production site in Germany. Managing director Marc Meylaers lists several reasons for this:

"Road transport in Central Europe will continue to grow in the long-term and above all in the markets that are already strong, like Germany, Benelux, Poland, and the Czech Republic," he says. “This makes investing in a local production site to create additional capacity both sensible and necessary. Germany will remain the most important sales market in Europe for the foreseeable future. Moreover, a new site like the one in Günzburg gives us an opportunity to implement the Silvergreen strategy of environmentally-friendly, sustainable production. Last but not least, the Günzburg site offers optimum conditions thanks to its geographic location at the heart of Europe, the proximity to a few major suppliers, the logistical connection to the motorway and the nearby container terminal in Dornstadt, and thanks to the high availability of skilled personnel in the region.”

The total investment in the new site amounts to around 30 million euros. In the medium-term Burg Silvergreen intends to employ 300 people in Günzburg.

A subsidiary of CIMC (China International Marine Containers), Burg Silvergreen also has as a partner Peter van der Burg, chief executive of CIMC Burg.

CIMC has established itself in China, North and South America, Asia and Australia. In Europe, CIMC's activities began in 2007. The CIMC Burg Group, a manufacturer of special commercial vehicles, tanks and tank vehicles, was formed through the amicable takeover of the majority holding in family company Burg Industries.

Founding of the new brand Burg Silvergreen was preceded by attempts to acquire European trailer manufacturers. CIMC did try, for example, to buy the insolvent firm Kögel Fahrzeugwerke GmbH through the Dutch subsidiary CIMC Burg in 2009.

Founded in 1980 in Shenzhen, China, CIMC began production of its first standardised sea container in 1982. CIMC went public twelve years later, following rapid growth and development into a global concern. In 2007, CIMC reached the production level of two million containers a year for the first time. Since 2009, CIMC has been one of the top 2000 World Leading Companies (Forbes magazine). Last year, CIMC employed around 64,000 people at 50 production sites and they achieved sales of around 8.1 billion euros. Container business accounted for around half of the total.

The current team consists of more than 70 persons in New-Ulm and 130 people at the production sites.