Kathrein Automotive Focuses its Core Business


Kathrein is adapting its product portfolio in the automotive sector. The business division is handing over trade business in the aftermarket sector to the Swedish antenna specialist Smarteq. As part of a strategic partnership, the company gains exclusive marketing and reseller rights across Europe for Kathrein aftermarket automotive products.

The Kathrein Group combined the automotive antenna business of its headquarters in Rosenheim together with business from the companies of Blaupunkt Antenna Systems and Olimpus Automotive acquired in 2010 to form the Kathrein Automotive product division. In the future, Kathrein Automotive will be focusing on global original equipment products for vehicles featuring innovative transmission and reception technology. The company concentrates on intelligent solutions for technical challenges of the future.

One of the focal points of product and research has been the development of antenna systems and electronic components for the new LTE and 5G mobile radio services. The Kathrein Group is developing fundamental solutions here that will have major importance for international automotive manufacturers. Communication between vehicles (so-called ‘car to car communication’) is also one of the primary topics of the future that is actively shaped by Kathrein.

Frank Ullmann, COO of the Kathrein Group: “Our Automotive division serves internationally active customers in the global market, and it’s one of our strengths that our development and production locations are found in all of the global key automotive industry markets.”

Michael Heise, CEO of Kathrein Automotive, views the partnership with Smarteq with a high level of confidence. “Our valuable customer relationships are being placed in good hands. Smarteq is a specialist in the pan-European aftermarket business that targets the same, very high levels of quality that we do.”

Smarteq-CEO Johan Hårdén sees the cooperation with Kathrein as a “maximum quality of approval” for his company. “We benefit both from the technological spectrum and from the highly respected Kathrein sales network,” he explained.

Kathrein strengthens activities in North America


Industry Veteran Jim Nevelle Appointed to Lead Kathrein in U.S. and Canada

Kathrein Group, a leading international specialist for reliable, high-quality communication technologies, today announced the appointment of Mr. Jim Nevelle as President and CEO for Kathrein in North America (formerly known as Kathrein-Scala). In addition, the decision was made to move Kathrein’s U.S.-based headquarters to the Telecom Corridor® in Richardson, Texas.

“USA and Canada are among our key markets, and we see a lot of potential for our pioneering solutions”, explained Joe Doering, Chief Sales Officer of the Kathrein Group. “Mr. Nevelle has the management experience, passion, and drive to build our North American presence and moving our Oregon operations to Richardson, Texas, will provide an outstanding modern work environment for our employees and visitors.”

“Establishing a presence in the Richardson Telecom Corridor® is an important part of Kathrein’s fasttrack growth strategy. With U.S. and Canadian spectrum licensing auctions and its implications for additional wireless and broadband growth, the new location not only gives us close proximity to some of the major players in the telecommunications industry but also gives us access to a significant pool of highly qualified telecom professionals,” said Jim Nevelle, president and CEO of Kathrein North America. “The Kathrein Group has an extraordinary track record of innovation and I’m thrilled to join a company with such a high-powered development and management team and look forward to making my contributions to the company and our customers.”

The new offices will also help Kathrein support the missions of its customers and will better reflect the role as a global technology and innovation leader in such areas as Mobile Communication Antennas, Filters, Combiners and Amplifiers as well as Satellite and Terrestrial Reception Systems, Broadband Communication Systems and Broadcast Antenna Systems. The new office will serve as a sales and customer support facility for the rapidly growing company.

Prior to joining Kathrein USA, Jim co-founded Sorrento Networks and served as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Nevelle has also held management positions at Verso Technologies, Verilink Corporation, and XEL Communications. He is co-author of four U.S. patents pertaining to broadband architectures and deployments and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in Technology Management from the University of Denver.

Nevelle succeeds Manfred Muenzel who was CEO at Kathrein Inc., Scala Division since 1999.

Kathrein Begins Operations in New Plant in Mexico



Kathrein inaugurated a new production location in Mexico. State-of-the-art production facilities have been established in the Tetla industrial park in the state of Tlaxcala. Antennas for mobile communication will primarily be manufactured in the 13,000 square metres of production space, and the new Kathrein Group location has created around 400 jobs in the region.

On the occasion of the official inauguration on 17 April 2015, Anton Kathrein, CEO of Kathrein, explained the background concerning construction of the plant to the guests. In the past 12 months, the company has significantly expanded its global production capacity, with this strategy being driven by the very high demand for mobile communications antennas in the global marketplace. Because of rapidly increasing volumes of data in mobile communication networks, network operators are rapidly and significantly expanding their infrastructure.

Kathrein expressed its gratitude to all project participants for their high levels of commitment. “It’s certainly a great performance that we were able to maintain both the budget and time schedule, and that we could inaugurate the plant after merely one year of construction,” said the entrepreneur. Following the laying of the foundation stone at the end of April 2014, poor weather conditions initially delayed construction work over several weeks. Kathrein continued: “The level of teamwork with local authorities was outstanding”.

Modern Infrastructure and High Productivity

Frank Ullmann, COO of the Kathrein Group, confirmed the benefits of the new location. “Mexico has become a focal point for many European companies aiming to exploit sales markets in North and South America. The country has a modern infrastructure and a competitive production environment,” he explained. Several free trade agreements and the fact that the country is directly adjacent to the United States are decisive advantages compared to other Latin American countries. “The Tetla industrial park is an outstanding location for our new plant. We gained a highly attractive real estate offer from the municipality, and the location within Mexico is advantageous in several ways”, added Ullmann.
The Governor of Tlaxcala, Mariano González Zarur, emphasised the importance of the Kathrein investment. “It shows that we are able to offer companies an appealing economic environment as well as qualified labour,” stated the politician.