INTERVIEW WITH EDI FISCHER, CEO OF THE BUCHER-MOTOREX-GROUP
Langenthal, March 2017
What is MOTOREX’s recipe for success? How does the company compete with all of the multinational corporations operating in the lubricant sector?
We don’t define ourselves based on our sales volumes or pricing; rather we see ourselves as problem solvers and lifelong partners. It’s the same wherever you go: you buy the things you need from people you like. Our success is therefore based primarily on offering high quality advice and services. Furthermore, we also invest a great deal in research and development so that we can offer flexible
What role does the founding family play?
The founding family serves primarily as our anchor, providing us with support and stability. It secures our long-term development by making corresponding investments. Moreover, representatives of the family enjoy a close, amicable relationship with our employees. And this is something our employees really appreciate.
How does the company’s location in Langenthal influence the various business areas such as
Production and Research and Development, as well as the process of recruiting top specialists? Isn’t it difficult, being located in such a rural region, to attract specialists from around the world?
As I’ve already mentioned, our location is not a disadvantage to us in any way. International employees also like coming to and settling in our region. Bern and Basel are highly attractive residential areas and are not that far from Langenthal. So no, I can’t say we experience recruitment difficulties in this regard.
How important is research and development at MOTOREX?
For a company of our size, we boast an exceptionally large and highly qualified R&D department. This level of expertise is essential when you are this specialized and when you offer around 2500 different formulas. We currently employ 12 chemists from seven countries who are closely connected with educational institutions and industry organizations such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, a number of universities, and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology.
How is MOTOREX able to unite tradition and modernity, local values and global relevance?
Well, we started out by creating Business Units. These have enabled us to achieve a high degree of professional specialization and create extremely qualified teams for each of the areas we cater to. This pronounced market segmentation allows us to take a diversified approach, which in turn enables us to address all manner of sectors and backgrounds – whether more traditional or more modern. In Switzerland, the MOTOREX brands stands for exceptional quality and consistency. And we do everything we can to uphold these fundamental values. On an international level, however, our image
is very modern and dynamic. This has a lot to do with our involvement in motorcycle sports, in particular in powersports. In this way, we are able to effectively bridge the gap between tradition and modernity.
How does MOTOREX position itself abroad? What are the challenges that MOTOREX faces in terms of international expansion?
Let me back up a little here first. To address this question, we must first separate the Swiss market from the international market. In Switzerland, we have a very broad base: we serve the automotive, agricultural, forestry, construction, industrial, metal processing, mountain railways, public transportation and motorcycle sectors, providing them with highly comprehensive, countrywide services. When it comes to our activities abroad, we need to differentiate between two models. In Germany, France, Austria, and Scandinavia, we have our own sales organizations in place. In each of these countries, we have around five sales partners who cover our individual business areas. In the rest of the world, which comprises around 85 countries, we rely on the highly specialized powersports sales channel. Here, too, we select our partners very carefully. So in these countries, our focus is on promoting our motorcycle expertise. In the US, we are the second most popular brand in the motorcycle sector. It was here that one of our favorite slogans about MOTOREX and powersports was born: “What wins on Sunday, sells on Monday.”
However, what really sets us apart in this area is our partners. We see our partners as our peers when it comes to organizing sales in a particular market. Our focus here is not necessarily on sales volume, but rather on promoting our level of specialization. The challenge is to be familiar with and be able to apply the directives, certificates, and standards that are required on the various markets in order to maintain cost-efficiency at a high level.
How does MOTOREX approach the fact that fossil fuels are disappearing? How is MOTOREX facing these challenges?
Mineral oil is no longer the only raw material from which lubricants can be produced. Alternatives made from animal and plant-based sources are available. But regardless of that, we feel that our contribution to saving energy lies in improving the quality of our lubricants because optimal lubrication helps to save energy.
What will MOTOREX’s main priorities be in the future?
We want to continue to be the partner of choice for companies operating in Europe. We will continue to focus on research and development and to invest heavily in this area in order to keep up with everincreasing technical requirements. This is the only way in which will we be able to maintain our range of specialized products. We will also continue to develop our sales in Europe. Here we will be concentrating on two areas: industry – where our main focus will be on metal processing – and powersports.solutions and develop products that are specifically tailored to our customers’ individual requirements. This also means that we attach great importance to having good, motivated employees. They are our bedrock; they are what makes it possible for us to offer a product range of such breadth and depth – comprising around 2,500 different formulas and around 8,000 items.
How will the company be celebrating its upcoming 100th anniversary?
We’re planning lots of activities for the occasion, including an open house where we can celebrate
together with our long-standing partners, employees, and everyone who takes an interest in our company. It is thanks to them, after all, that we are able to celebrate our 100 years in existence. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU.
Thank you to our employees, our customers, our suppliers, and our business partners. Thank you, as well, to the local authorities and to our neighbors here in Langenthal, who have also made a significant contribution to our company’s success. We have the perfect business location here – a truly industrial location – and this is something we are extremely happy about.