EGI KLUBB GROUP: all-terrain service vehicles
The EGI KLUBB GROUP, a company based in Ayvelles in French Ardennes, is in the process of developing its expertise in fire fighting vehicles and high voltage insulated lift arms.
However, the company came under threat in early 2018 due to the liquidation of its parent company, the Gimaex group (Roanne), which has now disappeared. But things happened very quickly for EGI, and it was taken over in August 2018 by KLUBB, a French family group run by Julien Bourrellis, the French leader in aerial work platforms (€ 80 million turnover and 350 employees).
This takeover was a perfect fit for the strategy of KLUBB, which in EGI has found unique and world recognised know-how along with strong synergies on the products developed. This takeover also aims to accelerate international development for KLUBB, as EGI previously achieved 100% of its sales through export. The group will also increase its production capacity, thanks to the Ardennes site of 13,000 m² over 7 ha, whose location could not better, with just a single traffic light separating the Ile-de-France headquarters of KLUBB from the Ayvelles plant.
The know-how of EGI is based on two main businesses: fire platform vehicles and high voltage insulated lift arms (18 to 65 m high).
This high level of technology makes it possible to respond to very specific markets, such as this fire engine basket that can reach 42 m and is equipped with essential features (water flow double the average, oxygen supply, thermal camera, electric field detection), which allowed the SDIS 77 to fight the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris.
The unique and recognised expertise of EGI in live power line service vehicles also opens up international niche markets (Canada, Chile, the Middle East, Australia, etc...).
EGI also has a private internal laboratory that can test its insulated high-voltage baskets (up to 750,000 volts). It is the only one in Europe and only 2 sites in the world are of this standard.
The traditional EGI activities are now complemented by the contributions from the KLUBB group. The Ayvelles site works as a subcontractor for the KLUBB Xtenso range, and also hosts the production of a new (2019) group product, the Klubber. It is a camper built using a compact van (Renault Trafic, Peugeot Expert and Volkswagen T6), which includes many features of a motor home while still being suitable for the city given its normal size.
The layout of these vans, as with the other EGI activities, requires technical expertise based on the know-how and versatility of its teams. The human aspect is very present in the processes and the employees are involved in the different phases. The work is more rewarding and the company experiences very little staff turnover. The challenge for EGI today is to find new skilled people. From the 34 employees after the takeover, the workforce has increased to 50 and this should continue to grow as there are 12 positions to be filled by the end of the year. Indeed, the Ardennes site is working on group-wide development of a range of new innovative products (light vehicles equipped with low voltage lifts).
Unique and internationally recognised know-how, innovation, production capacity and international markets, and all ideally located, is what the KLUBB GROUP found in French Ardennes to accelerate its growth.
By Ardennes Développement, the Ardennes economic development agency - ardennes-developpement.com