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Newsletter "SEI NEWS" 2013

Home > Company Information > SEI WORLD > Back number > Vol.433

[Newsletter "SEI NEWS" Vol.433]

Group Company of the Month: SEBN

The history of Sumitomo Electric Bordnetze GmbH (SEBN) began in 2006, when the Sumitomo Electric Group purchased Volkswagen Bordnetze, a Volkswagen (VW) affiliated company for developing and manufacturing wiring harnesses for the VW Group, in order to commence business with the VW Group. Since then, the company has been growing in step with the expansion of the VW Group. Currently, SEBN has a total of 12 subsidiaries in eastern Europe, North Africa, Mexico, China, and Russia to manufacture and supply wiring harnesses for the VW Group in each region.

【Reporter】Hirochika Kobayashi / Accounting and Planning Department

Report from SEBN in Germany, which is working very hard to achieve VISION 2017 amidst sluggish automobile demand in Europe

Hirochika Kobayashi
Accounting and Planning Department


Engaged in accounting and planning at the SEBN Group, while making various bold attempts together with local staff

SEBN is headquartered in Wolfsburg, where the VW Group’s main plant is located. The SEBN head office has the functions of sales, procurement, and development.

In May 2012, I was transferred here as a member of the accounting and planning department. My major responsibilities include management of the entire SEBN Group’s monthly business performances, preparation of business plans, and J-SOX (Japanese version of the Sarbanes Oxley Act). I do these jobs together with German staff members in English. As English is not the native language for me or the German staff, when we need a discussion, we repeat questions and confirmations many times until we feel that each of us fully understands, in order to prevent misunderstanding. Also, to ensure better communication, I’m now studying German.

Automobile demand in Europe is still sluggish, and this severe situation seems to be there for a while. Under these circumstances, in order to achieve the goals of VISION 2017, I am going to work in cooperation with the local staff members and take bold steps beyond the current business boundaries.

SEBN’s new building

It has been decided that the current German head office will be relocated to a new building this December. The building will house not only our head office but also some other Sumitomo Electric Group companies. By making concerted efforts to take care of the needs of the VW Group, we will strive to further increase the presence of the Sumitomo Electric Group.


Accounting and planning department members

■Profile of Local Staff Members

Henning von dem Hagen

Henning von dem Hagen

Hello, everyone! I’ve been a member of SEBN for a total of 16 years, including my time at the forerunner company. I first worked as a production engineer, and subsequently was engaged in quality management, development, and also the launch of operations of a plant in Mexico. Currently, I’m a production engineering manager at the German head office. I’m truly pleased that I can get to know many staff members from all over the world through my job.

In my private life, I like spending time with my family and friends. I also like playing bass in my band.

Dr.Christian Schiffling

Dr.Christian Schiffling

Guten Tag (Hello)! Since 2008, I’ve been working at the German head office. Currently, together with three coworkers, I’m engaged in J-SOX and internal audits. I feel truly fulfilled in performing these jobs, which are extremely vital to a company.

In my private life, partly because I like Japanese culture and food, I’m a member of a Japanese association. After work and on weekends, I like doing sports and playing the guitar. Cooking is also one of my favorite things to do in my spare time.

【Places of Interest】Braunschweig with Traditional Streets

Eintracht Braunschweig to be promoted to the first league

Braunschweig, City of the Lion

Currently, I live in Braunschweig. Comprising a population of approximately 250,000 people, this city is 25 km southwest of Wolfsburg, where the SEBN head office is located. The city features a statue of a lion, the city’s symbol, as well as traditional structures and churches. Just taking a walk around the city makes you feel as if you were doing some sightseeing. Meanwhile, Braunschweig is the home of Eintracht Braunschweig. This football team had a reasonably successful season, which ended this April, and was promoted to the first tier of the Bundesliga for the first time in 29 years. The entire city is now caught up in the excitement over this big news. I can hardly wait to see the opening of the next season starting in August.

Deserted shopping mall on Sunday

Sunday as the Sabbath

In Germany, since many people strictly observe the Christian Sabbath, almost all shops are normally closed on Sundays, with the exception of restaurants, shops at stations and airports, and gas stations. Although this might seem somewhat inconvenient to Japanese people, Germans take this opportunity to enjoy a relaxing holiday. They loosen up at home, walk in the park, and visit sightseeing spots in their neighborhood.


German Love for Festivals

Festivals are held relatively frequently in Braunschweig. At such festivals, you can see many Germans enjoying fried sausages and beer at stalls. Of particular note is a carnival, during which the city is filled with people in fancy dress, and many floats (converted from tractors) run through the city. There is no difference between German people and Japanese people in terms of their love for festivals.


VW main plant


Shopping mall renovated from an old castle

  Carnival   Statue of a lion, the symbol of Henry the Lion, who founded the city  

Company Profile


Company name Sumitomo Electric Bordnetze GmbH
Established March 2006
Business Development, manufacture and sales of wiring harnesses for automobiles
President Yasumasa Ono
Employees 22,333 (as of the end of August 2013)
(Japanese expats: 13, including one trainee)
2013 Index
(C) 2015 Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
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