DETROIT, Mich.–Flavio Guacelli has been named regional president for Chassis Brakes International in the Americas.
Guacelli comes to Chassis Brakes with extensive experience in global profit & loss management, engineering, sales and marketing, acquisition integration, global sourcing and corporate finance in the automotive, electronics and industrial sectors in Europe, Latin America and China.
He previously had been vice president and managing director in the Americas for Aptiv’s Electrical Distribution Systems and Connection Systems businesses.
Prior to Aptiv, he was vice president and general manager for FCI Automotive before it was acquired by Delphi/Aptiv in 2012. He also had served as global vice president and general manager for Alcan Packaging.
The Brake Report caught up with Guacelli this week in Detroit, and he shared some thoughts about what is happening at Chassis Brakes International and how he sees his challenges.
TBR: You have been in the supplier space for some time, but not in the brake business. How is that going?
FG: The brake business is not strange to me. Actually, my first job out of university was as a brake engineer for Ford in Brazil. Since then, I have been very involved in the electronics space. And one of the big challenges we face now, of course, is the increase in brake-by-wire business, the growth of automatic brake systems and autonomous driving, working with OEMs to integrate these systems electronically.
TBR: CBI is bigger Internationally than it is North America. I assume job-one for you is to grow the business here. Yes?
FG: Yes. For example we have, as a company, about 20% of the automatic brake system business. That business is growing fast. Our goal is to maintain that market share as the overall category grows.
TBR: How does that play out with regard to your manufacturing facility in Mexico.
FG: Our plant in Mexico is increasing production to 8500 brakes a day next year, about double what we are doing now. We have been increasing our business with orders and building up to this volume with the plant we opened in Mexico two years ago. So, my priority is centered around execution and and quality. We have been manufacturing traditional brakes there, but we are adding product like automatic brakes there.
TBR: What is that growth doing for employee growth?
FG: We have about 400 people in North America. We will be growing about 50% into next year, but those are hourly workers to account for the increased production. Our salaried worker level is pretty set and stable where it is.
TBR: Is CBI considered a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Supplier?
FG: We supply to both OEMs and to Tier-One suppliers. But In all cases we are dealing directly with OEs.
TBR: One of the areas of growth is brake dust collection and mitigation. How are you going at that category?
FG: We signed a strategic partnership agreement to develop brake systems with an add-on particle filter to reduce particulate emissions from passenger-car brakes with Mann + Hummel, and that is developing rapidly. This is a very important business for both reasons of the environment and our business as a global leader in brakes.
TBR: This week you are talking about a fluid-free brake system at an event in Detroit. Tell is about that system.
FG: We had several OEMS in Sweden recently experiencing this technology. This replaces hydraulic systems and will be key to autonomous driving systems. It was the first opportunity Chassis Brakes customers have had to road test a “fully dry” brake system. This system reduces architecture complexity, weight and maintenance requirements…there is a lot of interest in this system.
TBR: CBI has developed a new family of Boost Automated Parking Brakes (APBs) especially designed for vehicles equipped with an Electric Brake Booster (EBB). How important a product is that going forward?
FG: This will be launched on new vehicles in 2021. APBs account for more than 32-percent of the total global market for parking brakes. Hybrid-electric and autonomous vehicles require more complex brake-control strategies, and this system is another step in moving wheel brakes from mechanical towards mechatronic systems. Forecasts are telling s that 50% of new-vehicle sales will be electrified by 50% and 10% will be Level 3 and 4 by 2030. So, the growth of these categories is very important to our growth.