The VDA’s Committee for Small and Medium-Sized Companies
It is not actually size that defines small and medium-sized companies for the VDA. Quite independent of sales volume, profits or the number of employees, it is principally the way that the "medium” companies operate that is distinctive – willingness to take risks, a drive for innovation, and flexibility. These characteristics are found first and foremost in companies with a strong family tradition.
The VDA’s Committee for Small and Medium-Sized Companies was founded in August 2000 to focus more attention on topics that are priorities or even crucial issues for these companies. For example, the Committee has worked intensively on the topic of "cooperations/strategic alliances”. This has resulted in the Internet-based "VDA cooperation portal” (www.vda-kooperationsportal.de), which not only contains a huge amount of information on the subject of cooperations, but also provides an electronic marketplace where companies wishing engage in cooperations can look for potential partners.
Furthermore, the Committee for Small and Medium-Sized Companies has organized a conference on "Project and growth financing”, and developed a VDA rating tool which has already been backed up by two rating seminars at the VDA in Frankfurt.
In addition to these activities, every year the Committee for Small and Medium-Sized Companies puts on its "SME Day” which includes discussions involving representatives from automotive manufacturers and mega-suppliers. This SME Day - the annual meeting of the VDA’s small and medium-sized companies - is the annual highlight of the Committee’s work. Here managers from the whole of the automotive industry meet one another and high-ranking representatives from politics and science, to use this platform for exchanging information and engaging in discussions.
At present the chairman of the VDA’s Committee for Small and Medium-Sized Companies is Arndt G. Kirchhoff, Chairman of Kirchhoff Automotive GmbH & Co. KG in Attendorn.
The contact persons for the Committee for Small and Medium-Sized Companies at the VDA office is Mr. Helmut Weirich, head of the Vehicle Parts and Accessories department.