Marquardt makes new contacts
By Willie Kiernan
Marquardt Switches of Cazenovia has been around for 26 years, but in the last couple they've driven from a $30 million company making basic switches toward a $100 million company making automated electronic switch systems.
"We went from a stand-alone company to a group that shares resources globally, hand-in-hand with Germany, China, Tunisia, Romania and India," said Rod Mayette, Director of Finance.
Quietly minding their business on Route 20, Marquardt has entered into the American automobile industry with a flurry of contacts, contracts and a momentum that could continue growing well into the future. They've gone from Black and Deckers to BMWs.
"We've got momentum," Mayette said. "People are saying, how can I fit in?"
Beginning as an extension of their parent company in Germany, Marquardt has expanded their American presence into the automotive industry, competing with global giants on the cutting edges of modern technology. At the same time, they've kept their personnel by retraining them on the newest equipment available.
"We are transitioning from mechanical-only based products to the majority being electrical and mechanical," Mayette said.
New kid in town
To facilitate this leap, Jochen Becker, 35, was brought to the states as General Manager/CEO of Marquardt. With ten years experience in the business, he was in the Mercedes Division in program management, involved in developing products, determining customer needs to series production when he got the phone call.
"It was very fast to come here, but I agreed," Becker said. "It was always a goal for me to work in a foreign country, especially the United States."
Though Becker's first few weeks in America were difficult due to the language barrier, his ability to communicate to the parent company overseas gave Marquardt the necessary enhancement to fast-lane products in a highly competitive field. This extreme makeover in a matter of months could not have happened without this new German import.