Detroit is situated in the US State of Michigan. Ford started mass production of the Model T there back in 1909. Other vehicle manufacturers such as General Motors and Chrysler followed – and Detroit was soon known as the Motor City. Why am I telling you this?
MANN+HUMMEL USA (MHUS) has been represented in the USA since 1994. Around two hours’ drive from Detroit, Portage, our site in Michigan, became the headquarters for our activities in North America in 1998 and a month ago, we officially opened our new South Campus there.
The opening ceremony was a very successful event attended by around 200 employees as well as some 50 representatives from politics, businesses and the local community. To display the products manufactured at MHUS, we presented three current car models and one truck model from our customers, and showed the visitors where our products were fitted in the vehicles.
Not only were they surprised by this, they were also impressed and even more supportive of a German company committed to operating in the USA.
After the official welcome from Vice President and General Manager Kurk Wilks, the opening ceremony commenced with six employees reading the six FILTER values out loud.
In his opening speech, Kurk Wilks emphasised how important the auto industry in Michigan had always been for him personally. He expressed what many people here think: just how much we all care about this site, and the great impact that personal commitment continues to have on corporate activities.
Richard D. ‘Rick’ Snyder, Governor of Michigan, then mentioned something in his speech that for me was not only notable but also said a lot about MANN+HUMMEL. He thought that many companies might well define a vision and lay down values, but very few fulfilled them like MANN+HUMMEL. This is something that inspires him. He then reached into his jacket pocket and brought out a small card, on which he had noted the State of Michigan’s vision and values. Gov. Snyder told us that we have something really special here and it all goes back to our values.
Finally, our employee JaRell Nabors explained how this philosophy had helped him personally. In his speech, he outlined his own career at MANN+HUMMEL; he started as a temporary worker here around 5 years ago. The opportunity arose to work on the night shift – and JaRell took it. Always accomplishing his tasks very well, he gradually assumed more and more responsibility. Today, he has a management role as production team leader. It was by no means complicated for him, he said. He was guided by our corporate vision and the FILTER values.