Detroit’s MSX International Acquires Australian Automotive Retail Consulting Firm

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Detroit-based MSX International, a business process outsourcing company, today announced it has acquired Australia-based Sewells Group, an automotive retail training, dealer process improvement, and outsourcing firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Globalization continues to drive change in the automotive industry, and OEMs are looking to partner with suppliers that can service their needs worldwide,” says Fred Minturn, CEO of MSXI. “Together with our strong operations in North America and Europe, Sewells Group provides us with diversified and truly international opportunities to enhance value creation for our combined customer base.”

Minturn says MSXI’s expertise in warranty, technical, and after-sales solutions combined with Sewells Group’s focus on retail business management, operational efficiency, and training will help OEMs and their retail networks to enhance customer experience, increase dealer revenue, and reduce warranty costs.

Minturn says Sewells Group, founded in 1982, will operate as a subsidiary of MSXI, with offices throughout the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Middle East regions in cities such as Melbourne, Beijing, Johannesburg, and Dubai. The company has more than 500 employees.      

“There are tremendous opportunities ahead as the two organizations come together,” says Michael Boneham, executive chairman of Sewells Group. “We plan to align and synergize our products and services…”

With the acquisition, MSXI has about 6,000 employees working in 80 countries, adding to its current 30 offices throughout the U.S, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. MSXI offers data analytics and custom software solutions. The company also owns Geometric Results Inc., a managed services provider in the human capital management industry.

IN RELATED NEWS, Livonia-based A123 Systems Inc., a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, today announced it will open a manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic, which is expected to begin production by the second half of this year.

“Our new business wins in the micro-hybrid market (stop-start cars) have validated A123’s strategy and given us an opportunity to expand our global manufacturing footprint,” says Jason Forcier, CEO of A123 Systems.

Forcier says the facility will be located within an industrial park in Ostrava, a city in the northeast region of the country near the Polish border. He says the facility will be used for regional assembly of A123’s 12-volt lithium-ion starter battery (which enables start-stop) and its 48-volt battery.

Forcier says the system assembly capacity in the factory will exceed 600,000 units per year, with opportunities for expansion. He says he expects A123 Systems will reach this level of production within the next few years.

A123 Systems also has a technical center in Germany, along with two manufacturing facilities in China. The company, founded in 2001, has more than 2,000 employees. A123 is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wanxiang Group, a Chinese automotive components manufacturing company.

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