BMZ founder Sven Bauer named “Entrepreneur of the Year 2012” in the Industry Category
News Release from:
BMZ Batterien-Montage-Zentrum GmbH
26 September 2012
Sven Bauer, the co-founder and present sole owner of Batterien-Montage-Zentrum GmbH, has been awarded the prestigious title of "Entrepreneur of the Year 2012" by the international auditing and accountancy group Ernst & Young.
The prize was given in the Industry Category and was conferred by an extremely high-calibre independent jury comprising the former Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg Lothar Späth, Fraunhofer Institute President Hans-Jörg Bullinger, Wolfgang Franz, President of the Centre for European Economic Research, August-Wilhelm Scheer, founder of IDS Scheer AG and Dr. Patrick Adenauer, Managing Director of Bauwens GmbH & Co. KG. At the same time, Sven Bauer was also nominated as a “World Entrepreneur of the Year 2013”, the only German representative to be honoured in this category.
At a formal ceremony held in the Old Opera in Frankfurt on 21 September, Ernst & Young awarded prizes to the best SME entrepreneurs in Germany in the five categories of Service, Trade, Industry, Information and Communications Technology/Media and Start-up. This is the 16th occasion upon which the programme has been staged. “As well as the ability to do business in a sustainable manner, one of the things that the jury was looking for this year was a capacity to react quickly to different market conditions by launching innovative products and services”, commented Project Head Wolfgang Glauner.
Sven Bauer was delighted to receive the award. “BMZ is just one of many examples which illustrate just how much commitment and know-how German SME companies are able to bring to the table. The title of ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2012’ is not just down to me. It is also a particular reflection of the work that the whole of our team has put in”. Sven Bauer has delivered plenty of evidence of the qualities required for the award of the “Entrepreneur of the Year 2012” title over a period of almost two decades since the establishment of the company in 1994. Having started out as a contract manufacturer, the last 18 years under Bauer’s leadership have seen BMZ advance to become Europe’s leading system specialist for the development and production of lithium-ion batteries. In 2011, the company employed 850 staff worldwide and generated a turnover of €145 million, an increase in growth of over 50 percent compared with the previous year. Sven Bauer also confidently expects growth rates of well over 10 percent for 2012 and 2013.
As an internationally recognised specialist, BMZ is well placed to take advantage as the European pedelec and e-bike market continues to boom. This is a sector in which a production capacity of well over 300,000 battery packs per year makes it undisputed market leader. The innovative batteries being developed at the company’s premises in Karlstein in Hessen are, however, also being deployed in a multitude of other battery-powered products. These range from screwdrivers and drills to garden shears and cordless food mixers and even extend to include golf buggies, ships and hybrid drives for vehicles. “Although there is still a desire for the greatest possible mobility and convenience, increasing awareness on the part of broad sections of the population of the need to treat nature in a more sustainable manner have over the last five years brought about a rapid rise in demand for intelligent and professional battery solutions,” continues Sven Bauer. “We are still only at the outset of an exciting technological development which will change the future forever. The specialist field in which we operate is of crucial importance to Germany’s future as a high-tech location. My expectation is that BMZ will continue to set benchmarks over the course of the next few years, both in terms of technology and with regard to ongoing company growth”.
The example of BMZ provides further evidence that, in international comparative terms, Germany is competitive both as a development and as a production location. Although the company has now outsourced some assembly processes to its own plants in China, Poland and the USA, Sven Bauer believes that Germany still provides an industrial base capable of delivering most added value. “Nowadays, modern equipment can be installed virtually anywhere in the world. Nevertheless, a high-tech company still requires an effective infrastructure and – even more importantly – a highly motivated and well trained workforce. In our capacity as a manufacturer of particularly high-quality battery systems with a long product life, we will continue to expand our domestic production activities on an ongoing basis for as long as we are able to source the employees we need in Germany.”