An interview with the CEO
Johannes Linden, CEO of the PIA Automation group, about a truly exceptional year and his outlook for 2021.
How do you look back on 2020?
Johannes Linden: It was a turbulent, challenging and unstable year. However, the factors that most influenced us at PIA had started to develop much earlier: The automotive industry has been in a crisis that was further fueled by politically imposed technological changes (e-mobility) since 2018. Then came the virus. The economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic differed from region to region: In China, it only briefly affected the economy in a negative way; after that, the steep upwards trend continued. North America likewise did not suffer significantly. Economically, our European locations had to pay the highest price during the Coronavirus crisis, as they were already weakened by the dwindling automotive market.
What were your personal highlights in 2020?
Johannes Linden: Steadfast, flexible, future-oriented. There are no better words to describe our response to the crisis and they also manifest themselves in my personal highlights: We started developing and constructing our facemask production systems with heart, courage and a healthy dose of team spirit. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of the entire PIA Group, this project turned into a respectable success. Successful cross-location cooperation is now a major factor in many projects – examples are our projects for renowned automotive suppliers in North America. Our strategy of serving customers from our network is a resounding success.
Johannes Linden (CEO, PIA Automation)
"Steadfast, flexible, future-oriented. There are no better words to describe PIA's response to the crisis."
What will be the topics in 2021?
Johannes Linden: First, I have to stress that a light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. But it will take some time until the world's economy has stabilized. In 2021, we will have to focus on the following topics:
- E-mobility: If anyone still had any doubts about the importance of this field, they should by now be entirely convinced. Many battery cell factories are currently being built in Germany, for instance. This yields a great opportunity for PIA: The cars to run these batteries have to be built as well.
- Healthcare & consumer goods: The current economic crisis has showed us how important it is to be able to draw on many fields of activity as a company. With our facemask production systems, we have left a mark on the global market.
- Service & digitization: Both are topics that are resistant to crises and therefore, very important to us. We aim at further strong growth and want to extend our portfolio in these areas.