Volume 14, Issue 6 - November/December 2012
Robinson joined the company at a time when it had just bought Glass Medic Inc. brand in the United States, he recalls. “At this time the Belron name had not been established although the Group had an international presence,” he says. “They had mixed equipment across the group; if I were to pat myself on the back it would be for achieving repair growth across the world.”
During his time in the industry, Robinson says he saw many improvements. For him, increased professionalism has been the greatest development.
“I started in 1974, before Belron was formed. It was a little bit of a cowboy business back then,” he says. “Over the years it has gotten incredibly more and more professional.”
Looking back on his career, Robinson notes that he will most miss “the folk, customers, and my team. I can’t say more than that really. I’m a real people-driven individual. That’s what I’m really going to miss and already am.”
Robinson’s team made a similar observation in expressing their thoughts on his retirement.
“John’s footprint in Belron is absolutely visible and above all shows how he loved to engage with people,” says Johan Mortier, technical director at Belron International. “He was most definitely an expert in this field and a great ambassador for the company.”
AGC North America’s Leader Discusses the U.S. Market and the Future
GB: Can you tell me a little bit about where you grew
I then returned to Japan in 1996 and in 2000 I moved to the AGC headquarters in Tokyo as director of our Japan/Asia-Pacific automotive business. In 2007, I became the regional president of automotive business in Japan/Asia-Pacific. Just three years ago, I moved to the flat glass division. And in the middle of 2009, I took over both auto and flat glass when I became the regional president of the glass business in Japan/Asia-Pacific. In 2010, I came here to the United States and I became president and CEO of AGC Glass Company North America. I also serve as a senior executive for the global AGC Group.
GB: You took over in the midst of an economic downturn.
Has this affected the way you lead the company?
For the past five or six years we’ve had the same strategy in order to meet the market situation and customer requirements. The peak of glass consumption was 2007. After that, we had to shrink our operations in order to match market demands. In 2007, we had eight float furnaces in North America. Now, just three furnaces remain in North America. It is expected that the market will grow, so we have to expand capacity and we have to upgrade our equipment in order to meet customers’ requirements. We have changed our strategy completely toward growth …
GB: What are your specific goals for AGC in the North
GB: What do you see as the biggest problems facing your