We go back to the year 1996 – the year when football was “coming home” to England during the 10th UEFA European Championship, the 100th Olympic Summer Games took place in Atlanta/USA or Super Mario and Lara Croft were born. Technology-wise it was the year when the DVD was launched in Japan, the internet browsers Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer 3 were released or the first “smartphone” was introduced with the Nokia 9000. Did you know that Pokémon for Gameboy was born in 1996 in Japan, too?
It’s amazing how time flies by, and the younger generation will probably hardly remember all those happenings from the mid-nineties. You may ask now what all this has in common with EBV Elektronik. Very simple – we also celebrate an anniversary these days that makes us proud to tell about. It happened exactly 20 years ago that we started our partnership with one of our manufacturing suppliers, namely Toshiba Electronics Europe.
Toshiba Electronics Europe (TEE) is ranked among the world’s largest semiconductor vendors and is the European electronic components business of Toshiba Corporation, the inventor of the famous Flash memory. The European branch of Toshiba Cooperation, founded in 1973 in Neuss, Germany, today offers one of the broadest industry’s IC and discrete product lines. Their products are used in many applications like automotive, multimedia, industrial, telecommunications or networking. Since the closing of the partnership agreement, the relationship between Toshiba Electronics Europe and EBV Elektronik has always been one of commitment, dedication, mutual trust and co-operation. At first, the franchise was limited to DACH and some of the upcoming Eastern European countries, but the agreement was quickly extended to all of Europe in the beginning of 1997.
We had the chance to talk to Michael Bosse, Account Manager Distribution, from Toshiba Electronics Europe, about our long-lasting partnership.
Michael, in 1996 when the first franchise agreement between Toshiba and EBV was closed, what kind of products from Toshiba were we selling into the market at that time?
EBV and Toshiba were very successful in selling optocouplers and MCU’s – we already achieved yearly revenues up to 20M$ in the early stages of our mutual relationship.
Well, you are still one of our top optocoupler suppliers today with a very extensive portfolio ranging from high-end coupler to commodities. What other products do you see as your main focus these days?
Apart from optocouplers our main focus would be our memory products, seeing we are a top Flash memory supplier. Also our memories are a perfect fit to the EBV growth strategy. We are part of the EBV memory campaign and this has already resulted in double-digit growth for EBV and Toshiba last year.
Now as for other growth areas, both our companies have a strong focus on the industrial market and you have some nice solutions for motor control.
That is correct. Our MCU’s for motor control are well liked by our customers and of course, we have a very broad MOSFET portfolio as well. Toshiba has decades of experience in the development and manufacturing of MOSFETs. Our main products include the mid- to high-voltage DTMOS Series and the low-voltage U-MOS Series.
Of course our mutual relationship is built on more than just products – what do you see as other criteria?
EBV’s support in the development of new Toshiba channel programs and systems is very valuable. A good example is our Partner Portal which we introduced the beginning of this year. EBV’s feedback was quite critical but it has helped us to make it a valuable tool for all EBV users.
Thank you Michael for your time today!
Today was the day we celebrated the franchise agreement signed in 1996. At the EBV headquarters in Poing we met our partner from Toshiba and they brought us something really nice and special. As a thank-you present for the 20-year partnership they handed us over a beautiful award with a unique symbolism: An origami Crane. In Japan, the crane is one of the mystical or holy creatures and symbolizes good fortune and longevity. A really nice gesture by them! Thank you, Toshiba!