Kenneth Hansen has left the Langley-owned manroland South Asia and North Asia sales and service operation to head a new business in Korea for rival KBA.
The new KBA Korea Co joins existing sales and service subsidiaries in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Australia.
Press users gain a direct line to the German manufacturing plant with more service and spare-parts availability, plus local personnel for installations and troubleshooting. KBA says it also plans a remote maintenance facility.
Initially, newspaper presses will still be handled from Germany or by German staff in China, but KBA Korea will look after commercial web, sheetfed and digital presses.
New managing director Hansen (54) joined KBA at the beginning of last week (April 15) after 35 years in the Asian industry, the last eight as chief executive of manroland Northeast Asia. South Asia had recently been added to his responsibilities.
He says KBA has the broadest and most advanced product range of all press manufacturers and in many sectors leads the field in technology and innovation: “Korea’s vibrant and demanding print market offers enormous potential for growth, and I plan to build on KBA’s success to date,” he says.
A primary focus will be on providing competent advice for our Korean customers on investment decisions, backing this up with the best possible service.”
KBA says Korea is a key market for it in Asia. “Customer expectations in terms of reliability, performance and quality are particularly high, and KBA is now better placed to address these demands,” says a spokesman.
Most sales to date have been medium-format sheetfed plus a few big newspaper press installations and some commercial web presses.
With no customs duty payable on products from Germany, and the strong yen impairing the competitiveness of Japanese vendors, the company aims to boost sales still further this year and is confident of winning new customers alongside its regulars.