AN EXCITING DEVELOPMENT
COINDU was founded by António Lourenço, Armindo Gomes and Günter Stichter Senior in Joane in 1988. Mr. Lourenço was responsible for operations, Mr. Gomes for sales and the Stichter family contributed the capital, their experience and networking in the automotive industry.
COINDU started out with the production of small leather parts, and from 1992 started the series production of seat covers. Back then COINDU operated mainly as a second-tier supplier or “outsourcing” provider to tier one, supplying leather for OEMs like Volvo, Ford, Mercedes, VW and Chrysler. While most operations were conducted in Joane, all commercial operations were handled by the other company of the Stichter Family, Sevex in Sevelen, Switzerland.
In 1999, Günter Stichter passed away and his son Günter Stichter Junior followed his father’s footsteps and represented all the members of the Stichter family on the Board of COINDU. Soon after, a new plant was established in Arcos, in the north of Portugal. COINDU reached a critical size, allowing it to become completely independent of Sevex and to act it in its own name vis-à-vis customers.
The following years showed further growth, with the company gaining Faurecia and Johnson Control as new customers. This prompted the decision to go outside Portugal and to open a new plant in Curtici near Arad, Romania in 2005.
Only eight years after his father’s death, Günter Stichter Junior died and another shareholder change happened within the Stichter family. In the same year, for the first time, COINDU managed to directly source to Audi. Especially due to this development, the following years showed further continuous growth, with EUR 100 Mio. barrier being broken in 2008. In the following years, COINDU managed to directly negotiate as first-tier supplier for BMW (2011) and VW (2012). In the same time period, the new development centres in Ingolstadt (for Audi and BMW) and in Braunschweig (for VW) were opened.
In 2013, Maximilian Stichter decided to buy out his whole family, reuniting the majority of the shares his grandfather once held. In the same year, the government structure of COINDU was changed to the so-called “German” or dualistic model, with the implementation of a supervisory board structure. Both founders, Antonio Lourenço and Armindo Gomes, then left the daily business and moved to the Supervisory Board, handing over all business to external management. Both men were major cornerstones and driving forces behind the company achieving sales of EUR 167 Mio. that year and all sales that COINDU achieved in the consecutive years.
Very sadly, another shareholder change happened in 2014 when the founder Mr. Gomes passed away, handing over his shares to his heirs. In the same year, the company diversified its product portfolio and moved outside the automotive industry into the luxury apparel industry, supplying small parts to one of the world’s leading international fashion houses with products ranging from luxury handbags to many other leather goods. In the following year 2015, COINDU continued its internationalization strategy, opening a new plant in Mexico. In addition, new direct sourcing with Porsche and Mini was achieved.
2016 COINDU acquired the majority of HEWA Leder GmbH, a family owned tannery producing premium leather since 1984. COINDUs first acquisition extends the value chain by the leather production and now can offer a whole seat cover starting from leather until the finished product.
Today, COINDU is still a 100% family owned company from Portugal and Germany, representing all three generations, which are committed to its Portuguese history and origins, while at the same time remaining open to a modern and international management approach, believing in the competence and quality of its employees in Portugal, Romania, Mexico and Germany.