GS Yuasa Corporation was formed from the merger of two battery giants, Japan Storage Battery (established in 1917) and Yuasa Storage Battery (established in 1918). Both were responsible for building the foundation of storage battery development and manufacturing in Japan. Over a century on, GS Yuasa now has 37 operating sites in 19 countries throughout the globe.
The global battery manufacturer is committed to help solve a wide variety of society’s challenges towards achieving a sustainable community. By constantly taking on the test of developing cutting-edge technologies, GS Yuasa serve as the motive power for changing the future and continuing to create innovative products.
Jon Pritchard, General Sales & Marketing Manager, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What products or services does your company offer?
We are the world’s leading battery manufacturer, with over 100 years of Japanese battery pedigree. As the market leader for all types of vehicle and industrial batteries, we have one of the widest ranges of batteries available which are used in a huge range of applications.
Our latest launch was of our brand new 2 Volt Traction range for the European materials handling market which has been engineered for maximum quality and long life. We are looking forward to working with more distribution partners, suppliers and Original Equipment manufacturers in this area.
GS Yuasa traction batteries are the preferred choice in Asia and other parts of the world, and GS brand traction batteries are still widely referenced for their unrivalled quality many years after discontinuation in Europe.
What sectors do your customers operate in?
We have just launched our new traction range, so materials handling is an important new sector for us, and one that we will be growing our offering in considerably over the coming months.
Besides traction, GS Yuasa operate in many different and dynamic sectors such as the vehicle market, energy storage, renewables, security and many more. When you think about many of the systems that enable our modern lives, most of them involve our batteries, things like banking, telecommunications, the national grid and delivery vehicles all use GS Yuasa batteries.
There are also some exciting applications which involve very extreme environments and critical applications. These include the International Space Station, H-IIB Rocket, Shinkai Deep Sea Submarine and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. To have batteries on the International Space Station and in hundreds of other satellites orbiting the earth with absolutely no failures is something we are proud of.
What is unique about your company as a business?
We pride ourselves in being customer focused and feel the way we support them sets us apart from other battery manufacturers and suppliers. We work in partnership with our customers, providing the highest possible levels of service, support, supply, training and online tools. Everything we do is focused on helping our customers grow their battery business.
In terms of our products, we have the widest range of batteries available and GS Yuasa batteries supply power for a vast range of systems and applications.
Do you have any examples of a project you have recently completed?
As you can imagine, working in such a diverse range of applications and many future technologies, there is always something new and exciting to be involved in. Our most recent project is the launch of our new traction range. We’ve worked really hard to ensure we’ve got the range and flexibility the market requires, whilst making sure our products provide the high quality, long service life and exceptional reliability we are trusted for.
Other interesting projects have included turning a ferry into a hybrid boat system which was showcased alongside the G7 Summit in Cornwall earlier this year and installing a first of its kind electric vehicle charging unit at Portsmouth International Port.
What has been the biggest news for your company over the last year?
Probably the biggest news is the launch of our European Traction range. This is very exciting as our all-new line up includes individual 2V traction cells, full tank solutions and different accessories. We have worked hard to utilise the very latest technology and premium engineering. They have been developed to provide a perfect energy and cost-efficient solution for electric motive power.
Another key milestone for us as a company is celebrating 40 years of battery production at our factory in Ebbw Vale, Wales. We have also been delighted to announce the creation of 105 new jobs at the production facility, which also included a substantial investment of up to £2.5m of funding from the Welsh Government.
Do you have any recent examples where you have provided innovation for your clients?
We work closely with our customers on a diverse range of projects to provide the optimum solution for their individual needs from planning, all the way through to construction. We are continually looking at our product line up, marketing, training and everything else we do to make sure we are ahead of the competition at all times.
A GS Yuasa belief is ‘to continually create advanced stored energy solutions under the philosophy of innovation and growth’ and this ethos runs through everything we do.
What training do you provide for your staff?
Training is a key part of our offer at GS Yuasa, for our staff and also our customers. As battery technology advances it is important that customers and users understand the products they are working with and how to get the best out of them.
For customers, we have the most comprehensive training program of all battery manufactures. Not only do we have face to face training, but we also have an award-winning online academy. Naturally, as we have just launched our traction range, we are now gearing up to offer this kind of training and support to the industry and we hope to far exceed what anyone else has experienced before.
What is the company’s commitment to social responsibility?
As a company we take our environmental and corporate responsibilities very seriously and there is a real focus within GS Yuasa to do everything we can to be as green and sustainable as possible. This aim runs through all of our business and manufacturing activities. One of the most recent initiatives we have here in the UK is the installation of nearly 3,000 solar panels at our production facility in Ebbw Vale and the development of a Dual Chemical Energy Storage System to store this power effectively.
Battery technologies are the key to a more sustainable future, with everything from renewable energy to electric vehicles requiring batteries to operate. We take the importance of this very seriously as we design and develop battery technologies of the future.
What improvements have you made to your customer service recently?
We always strive to give the best level of customer service and it is something that we are renowned for in the battery industry. We are constantly learning from our customers and implementing new ways of doing things so we continuously improve. We have recently joined the Institute of Customer Service and we will be working with them to provide a world class customer service strategy for all areas of our business, making sure we can continue to offer the best experience possible for our customers.
How future proof is your business?
We are fortunate to be in an industry that is leading the way in technology. As the world continues to develop, the need for electrification increases. Most new technologies need battery power in one form or another. As we operate in so many sectors, there are so many opportunities for us. There’s a lot more awareness about being greener, by trying to find new ways to look after our planet, with a lot more markets going the battery direction. It is clear to see this with the response we have already had with the launch of our traction range and the shift away from diesel and gas.
Will you be exhibiting at any trade shows in the near future?
A key part of our marketing strategy is to attend trade shows as we value nothing more than meeting our customers and showcasing what we can offer. Due to the pandemic and current situation we haven’t been able to go to any exhibitions within the last couple of years. However, it’s something we would of course be interested in getting back into and we hope to see customers at trade shows in the future.
How would you sum up your company in three words?
Innovative, honourable, customer-focused.