Fuyao Glass America CEO predicts tough times in 2020

DETROIT (Xinhua) – Fuyao Glass America is expecting a challenging year in 2020 after enjoying two consecutive years of increased revenue and profit.

President and CEO of Fuyao Glass America Jeff Liu said in an interview with Xinhua that “next year will be tough” as United States (US) auto sales are expected to drop to 16.7 million units. Several experts as well as senior executives at Toyota Motor North America are expecting 2019 to finish at about 17 million units.

The dour forecast by Liu comes in contrast to the company’s strong 2019 results. Liu expects to double 2018’s 24-million dollar profit, which was an increase of 30 per cent compared with that in the previous year.

Liu spoke to Xinhua at the company’s US headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan, on the sidelines of a lean manufacturing seminar and roundtable sponsored by HAND Enterprise Solutions USA last Friday. He stressed that the company knows how to handle difficult situations.

He said the company’s appearance in the Netflix documentary American Factory chronicled how it has dealt with tough situations, relying on the company culture to forge through problems to find answers and success. Fuyao Glass America lost money in its first year in the US.

Now the leadership is working not only to attract high-level new employees, but also retain their already successful work force.

“People are very important,” Liu said, adding “that’s the challenge for everybody. How do we attract talented people and get them to stay with you – that’s important.” He added that when they have large company functions, they can give the company’s a familial feel, in part, through simple gestures like providing home-style meals.

Liu appears to have the recipe for success as the company has grown since purchasing a closed General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio, in 2014, and added two facilities in Michigan, including its headquarters in Plymouthn since then.

Liu and his company got some negative attention from American Factory but Liu dismissed the claims, and pushed ahead to make the plant profitable in just the second year.

The company now has more than 2,400 employees. “There was a cultural difference and we had gone through and earned their trust,” said Liu.