“Both operationally and strategically, 2017 was a successful year for Freudenberg,” says Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Freudenberg Group CEO. “We have made significant progress to becoming one of the most innovative and efficient technology companies. We completed major strategic projects crucial to the Group’s long-term success. All in all, we have become more efficient and innovative. This is a result of our efforts to reduce administrative costs while increasing research and development spending."
In North America, Freudenberg’s 11 business groups generated sales of $2.8 billion (€2.5 billion) in 2017, which is a 12.6% increase over 2016. The number of employees rose to 10,285. Freudenberg continued to invest in both manufacturing and R&D facilities in North America and spent a total of $159 million last year.
“Steady year-on-year investments in North America have allowed our businesses to increase capacity, purchase new equipment and make other improvements necessary to meet customer expectations,” says Bob Evans, president of Freudenberg North America. “Further expansion of our North American operations and a variety of new product launches are also planned for 2018.”
Investments in North America have included a new line equipped with state-of-the-art process technology for manufacturing high-quality, glass-fiber reinforced spunlaid nonwovens for the building supply industry at the Freudenberg Performance Materials site in Macon, GA; an expanded R&D center at the Chem-Trend global headquarters in Howell, MI, and a new VIAM (Japan Vilene Company) production facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Numerous other investments in buildings and new equipment have been made across all 11 Freudenberg business groups in North America.