Getting to know BorgWarner and the Delco Remy® brand
Nick Tosie, national accounts manager
Please briefly describe the history of your company? Please briefly describe your company’s sales structure: What do you sell, who are your customers, etc.?
BorgWarner Inc. is a global product leader in clean and efficient technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles for the light, medium- and heavy-duty markets. BorgWarner Corporation, the predecessor to BorgWarner Inc., was formed in 1928. Founding companies include Borg & Beck, Marvel-Schebler, Warner Gear, and Mechanics Universal Joint. Today’s company, BorgWarner Inc. is a result of Borg-Warner Automotive spinning off from the Borg-Warner Security Corporation in 1993 and becoming an independent company in 1993.
The Delco Remy brand became a part of the BorgWarner family in 2015 when the company acquired Remy International. Today, BorgWarner’s produces and sells Delco Remy starters and alternators for the commercial vehicle aftermarket as well as major truck OEMs. In addition to the Delco Remy brand products, BorgWarner also manufactures and sells fan clutches and fans for medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles. The company sells original equipment (OE) products to both commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well as aftermarket sales through a network of independent warehouse distributors, buying groups, national wide aftermarket companies and OES truck dealers. The company also manufactures products for the transit bus, coach, school bus, and off highway markets.
BorgWarner’s customers are local and national truck fleets, owner-operators and other end users.
With manufacturing and technical facilities in 66 locations in 18 countries, the company employs approximately 29,000 worldwide.
What separates your business from competitors in its marketplace?
The quality of our products and our coverage in the marketplace. As an OE supplier, all of our products are the same quality as the OE products. They are designed and engineered to OE standards, with the OEs. We work with all the major OEs and we have coverage for 100 percent of Class 7 and 8 vehicles and significant coverage for Class 5 and 6 vehicles. When it comes to mounting configurations, power, service parts, etc. none of our current OE competitors offer the complete line that we do, BorgWarner and the Delco Remy brand offer the most complete coverage in the industry.
How do you believe customers perceive your business?
BorgWarner and Delco Remy brand genuine products are known for offering quality components and product leadership in the heavy-duty industry for the products we design, engineer, and manufacturer.
How and why do your customers stay loyal to your business?
Customer stay loyal to our business because of our product leadership, which was established due to the quality of our products and coverage for the heavy-duty industry. Since we are an OE provider to all major OEMs we have coverage for all Class 7 and 8 vehicles which allows a distributor to stock one brand and cover all of their needs; additionally, the after sales support we provide through product training, our industry leading cross reference tools, literature, and other marketing support is second to none. We also have an entire sales team of experienced, direct sales people covering the U.S. coast to coast that have formed lasting relationships with our customers both at the fleet and distributor level.
What is one thing most customers/suppliers don’t know about your company that would surprise/impress them? (i.e., tell us something about your company we don’t know) What makes your company a great place to work?
Many people in the heavy-duty aftermarket are surprised to learn BorgWarner is now the parent company for Delco Remy. It’s important to understand Delco Remy has really been a brand and not a company for decades now and that Remy was acquired by BorgWarner to expand our electrification capabilities.
The automotive world is in the process of making a major shift to electric and hybrid vehicles and that is a space BorgWarner is a major player in. That technology is coming to the heavy-duty field with more and more components becoming electrified on the truck which makes our components that much more important. 48-volt systems are on the horizon so more components on the truck can be electrified and hybrid or full electric trucks are not that far off either. For these reasons, it makes us a great strategic partner for the heavy-duty aftermarket, we supply todays needs and are in position for our trusted brands to supply the future needs as well.
Many people are surprised at all of the technologies BorgWarner offers. If you own a passenger car, truck, or heavy duty vehicle, there is likely BorgWarner content on it. So, don’t just think of us for Delco Remy starters and alternators or BorgWarner K series fan drives, we offer much, much more. A great overview of all of our products can be found here: https://www.borgwarner.com/aftermarket.
Last, BorgWarner is a great place to work for several reasons. As a young person, I appreciate that we are not just involved in legacy technology (combustion) but that we are also heavily invested into the emerging technologies of the future (hybrid and full electric); with BorgWarner being involved in these technologies whichever propulsion platform takes off we will be positioned for continued growth. On a personal level BorgWarner is a great place to work because of our amazing health and retirement benefits, the employee focus, and the continuous investments in technology.
How vital is it to have quality employees entering your business from younger generations, and how are you trying to recruit these younger professionals?
Without fresh, quality talent we would lack fresh ideas and new perspectives and thus we would slowly start to become irrelevant and uncompetitive. Bringing in the younger generation is key to long term sustained success for any business and is especially important in the heavy-duty aftermarket due to the large number of industry veterans that will be aging out of the industry in the coming years. We work to recruit these younger professionals through industry associations, such as GenNext, as well as through career days and various colleges and related events. We also offer a lot of co-op and intern positions around the globe. Additionally, we have a heavy social media presence for BorgWarner globally to highlight our industry leading innovations, the cutting-edge technology we develop and work with for our business and the culture of our company. It helps people get to know our company.
Does your business feel it is in the position to change with the times? If so how?
Absolutely. Our focus at BorgWarner is to be the industry leader in propulsion- whether it be combustion, hybrid, or full electric. We are positioned to play in all of these fields so that wherever the future takes us based on varying regulations, customer demands, and industry requirements we can be a dominant player. The most exciting thing about that is our growth will continue to be sustainable and these solutions support a cleaner, energy-efficient world.
Do you have any advice for the next generation, as they work in this industry?
There’s a lot of technology in the heavy-duty industry that makes it an exciting field to be in but there’s also still many old-school trends that remain and are worth embracing. Most important of those is that relationships still matter. So, take the time to meet people and further your connections and contacts through organizations such as GenNext. People buy from people and the best careers start with a connection, not just a post on a website or an email.
The other thing I will share is don’t be afraid to speak up and suggest or help make a change when you see an opportunity. Our industry is full of history and tradition but that doesn’t mean we should be set in our ways. As a young person in the industry you have a different viewpoint and it is important to be knowledgeable of and respect the traditions, but also to suggest areas for improvement and innovation.
Why did your company join GenNext? How can GenNext help your employees?
BorgWarner joined GenNext because it offers a unique opportunity to interact with the young talent within the industry for ideas and strategies that we might not otherwise hear about. It also offers us an organization where we can expose our young leaders to mentorship opportunities as well as to offer the expertise of our seasoned, industry veterans to be mentors to those who are new to the industry.
What are the three most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from and/or that got you where you are?
- When my branch manager at MHC Kenworth in Dallas, Lynn Harris, pushed me into outside sales. My background was in service as a tech and a service advisor. I admittedly wasn’t a parts person and didn’t think of myself as a sales person either. Lynn forced me to change and experience the best position in the dealership- outside sales. I’m glad he did, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. I learned to keep an open mind, try new things, and listen to those that have more experience; all of which are worthwhile lessons for not only work but life. So, don’t be afraid to say “yes” to an opportunity you never thought about.
- When I went to work for Phillips Industries as a territory sales manager. This took me from working from a distributor/dealer and to working for an OE manufacturer. This position was so valuable because it gave me my start working for a manufacturer in a traveling sales role. Phillips provided a great deal of support and training which really accelerated my growth. Additionally, I learned the importance of selling a quality, top tier, name brand component and how to couple that with building relationships for maximum sales growth.
- A few years ago I started shadowing Craven Mabrey to begin training me to transition into my national account manager role as he prepared for retirement. The connections were obviously priceless, but the other big thing Craven provided was the history of how the aftermarket developed and how our company and products developed along with it. This insight is important in looking at where we’ve been and where we are headed.
Are there any industry leaders that have influenced you/mentored you? Who were they and how has their knowledge assisted you?
I don’t like to do lists because I couldn’t possibly name everyone that’s mentored me during my career but I’ll name a handful as the list overall is long. I’ve had the great fortune to work with a ton of really awesome people. Terry Tosie (my dad), Lynn Harris, Randy Andis, Craven Mabrey, John Minor, Pete Joy, Randy Walker, John Nugent and Bob Phillips. All of them have taught me the importance of hard work, doing the right thing, following through, loyalty, and the importance of relationships among many other things. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support and mentoring. The best thing about the heavy-duty industry is the willingness to show a new comer the ropes and to develop relationships, regardless of your role or position.