Capturing market value in the future

The high power S series gearbox by Dana SAC.

Former Brevini boss, and now Dana SAC Australia managing director Greg Bunn tells Australian Mining about two companies that go hand in hand.

For Brevini Australia, the transition from an Italian family-owned company to an American-listed organisation couldn’t be smoother.

With zero job losses and all existing products retained in its portfolio, Brevini Australia became part of Dana Incorporated when it was acquired in 2017.

The newly formed company was renamed Dana SAC Australia, one of 29 global service and assembly centres (SACs), offering Brevini’s original products and services in the local marketplace.

Australian Mining speaks with the company’s managing director Greg Bunn to get a scoop on how the acquisition went down.

How did it all begin?

Brevini kicked off in Australia in 1993 and has been running as a very successful company ever since – growing turnover and profit through those years. We were a subsidiary of a global, Italian-based power transmission company, Brevini, back then. We moved from being part of a family owned power transmission company to become part of an US$8 billion ($11.4 billion) supplier of drivetrain products when we were globally acquired by Dana Incorporated in 2017. Now, we have 29 SACs around the world offering all services and ancillary products that Brevini has provided in Australia for the past 26 years. Nothing has changed apart from the name of the company.

What has emerged as the best synergy following the takeover?

As a 115-year-old automotive supplier, Dana has longstanding contacts with Tier 1 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the world. With this acquisition, we are now able to supply our products to global OEMs, something Brevini had not been able to achieve as a smaller Italian-based family company. We can now supply complete packages for all the drivetrain and motion systems required by large OEMs – gearboxes, winches, hydraulics. 

Who wears the manufacturer’s cap now?

We’re still manufacturing the same products that we had under Brevini from our plants in Italy, Germany and China. These manufacturing facilities remain in place. Dana is an $US8 billion manufacturing company that has the highest standards in quality and manufacturing processes, so those plants were brought up to Dana’s standard operating system for production.

What’s the working partnership with Dana like?

There’s been absolutely no problem. Dana is a very professional company, we were integrated over an 18-month period. There were obviously some changes from a financial reporting point of view, coming from an Italian family business to an American-listed company, but that’s just part of being a large global business. There’s surely a sharing of knowledge in the plant-level for gear manufacturing. We’re making sure that we keep up with electrification as the market moves toward electric vehicles, even in the off-highway and agricultural sectors.

How are your strategies aligned with Dana post-acquisition?

Dana had grown a significant fixed axle market for off highway, but they had zero offering in rotating housing wheel drive or tracked vehicle. So the original strategy was for Dana to be able to move into the tracked and mobile wheeled vehicle market, which our products were able to do. We manufacture fluid power products, which allowed us to offer complete drive systems, along with the winches and slew drives, onto the same equipment. We’re able to offer complete packages as Dana Brevini motion systems. So the strategy that we have is absolutely aligned with Dana’s growth strategy. We’re part of that off-highway business for Dana.

What’s next on the horizon?

We continue to see strong interest from customers for an expanded product range to support the diverse vehicles in the off-highway market. Dana is looking to grow the product range for winches and rotating case wheel, as well as track drive applications. We also continue to expand our electrified offerings through innovative technologies developed in-house, as well as those Dana’s recently added through the acquisitions of TM4, the SME Group and the drives systems business of Oerlikon. The future is looking good.

The Spicer Torque Hub track drive is ideal for mobile applications.

 

What’s the biggest highlight since the acquisition?

I would say the future of the company. Moving into the next phase after being a family-owned company has been very stable, and its transition very smooth. We’ve retained all of our staff, we still have the same products, we’re operating in the same areas, still working with the same customers. But the potential for the future would be new products and expanded ranges coming onboard, the financial stability and the growth strategy of Dana in introducing our products into larger Tier 1 OEMs. The future for our market here in Australia is very strong.

This article also appears in the August edition of Australian Mining.

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