‘There is likely to be political instability ahead – but change at APRA Europe is focused on providing a better service to members’
As many of you know, Daniel Koehler of Knorr-Bremse has just taken over from me as chairman of APRA Europe. I held the position for a year in order to start the necessary reorganisation of APRA in Europe. One of the first activities was to transfer back office services to APRA headquarters in the US. This means they deal with issues such as finance and administration – while everything that affects members, markets and politics will be handled in Europe. It is a significant change that will also see the replacement of several ‘veterans’ of the European board in order to open the door for new professionals in remanufacturing.
I shall still play a part as a member of APRA, but we need new faces with fresh ideas. The changes are all positive: above all, it will give the board more time to focus on the concerns of the members. This is vital because we are facing new challenges in the reman market due to corporate acquisitions and political changes in Europe – changes that we weren’t even considering two years ago. It all started with the unexpected Brexit vote last year, and we have seen hard-fought elections in the Netherlands and France since then. It is not clear yet whether we will see anti-European election voting in Germany and Italy. Could other countries start discussions about leaving the European Union too? Whatever happens, the political stability of the EU in the past which allowed us to focus on issues such as positive legislation and legal decisions for reman, might be obliterated.
Another big issue will be to keep APRA as the number 1 global remanufacturing association, playing a leading role in Europe and growing the membership in automotive and non-automotive remanufacturing. Daniel has a tough job! But he is well experienced after working in Europe and Asia as an engineer, scientist and business manager. Today he is with a large, well-known global OEM and is well-placed to make a success out of it. I believe it is so important to have a chairman from a global top player - as well as to have a European board with a good mixture of board members from SME and large companies, from owners and managers. The changes APRA Europe is making will benefit members – and with members’ support, Daniel will make a huge success of it.