In this age of globalization, it's only natural that there's one company that employs around 73,800 people at 128 production sites, 21 research centers, and 52 other locations in 29 countries. Valeo is a global powerhouse that's divided into four groups that manufacture comfort and driving assistance systems, powertrain systems, thermal systems, and visibility systems for various vehicles.
Valeo can trace its history back to the late 1800s, when a British inventor created the first bake lining, the Ferodo. A company with the same name sprang up from this invention. It was successful enough to attract the attention of a Frenchman named Eugene Buisson who wanted to distribute them in his home country.
In 1923, Buisson got the rights to manufacture these linings in a small workshop in France. This would become the start of the public company called the Sociéte Anonyme Française du Ferodo and it inventing its own auto parts. By the eve of World War II, it held almost all the patents on clutches.
Valeo's expansion and unification
After World War II, the company expanded throughout Europe, acquiring several brands and becoming a key player in the modernization of automotive components. By 1978, it had become a powerhouse producer of braking, lighting, thermal, and electrical systems.
In 1980, the company's shareholders decided to unite the different brands and teams under a new name. They chose the name "Valeo" because it meant "I'm fine" in Latin. They also adopted a strategy for achieving customer satisfaction and total quality called the "Five Axes Methodology."
Valeo today and its focus for tomorrow
Today, Valeo's shareholders and board of directors are headed by Jacques Aschenbroich as CEO and Pascal Colombani as chairman. Under their management, the company is focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and in becoming more present in Asia and other high-growth regions around the world.