Will the know-how of the workers of the Jacob Delafon ceramic sanitary ware factory in Damparis (Jura) finally be able to remain in France? The American group Kohler, owner of the site since 1986, announced in September 2020 its desire to part with it and launched, on December 2, a job protection plan (PSE) providing for the dismissal of its 150 employees. .
But, as the latter hoped when The world had met them, in the fall, a buyer finally made himself known: the Kramer group, a French SME with 112 employees (30 million euros in turnover in 2019), a valve specialist, expressed a a sign of interest in early February, one month before the closing of the PES.
“I was challenged by the closure of this historic site, that of an emblematic brand for our sanitary business, explains Manuel Rodriguez, president of the Kramer group. It is the last site capable of producing sanitary ware in stoneware and porcelain in France, and its closure would mean the definitive disappearance of this know-how in our country. At first, I was a million miles away from imagining making an offer, but I had an entrepreneurial and industrial reflex. At a time when we are talking about “made in France” and reindustrializing France, the planets seemed to me to be well aligned. ”
“A Gallic side, patriot”
Discussions with its usual partners – the group notably manufactures faucets for distributors of large DIY stores – confirmed to him, he said, that there was an expectation for medium-range ceramic sanitary ware produced in France, which could be marketed under these same brands. Ultimately, the aim would be to produce a reduced number of part models at Damparis, but in larger series, in order to rationalize preparation and adjustment times, and therefore costs.
At this time, nothing is won. The SME has not yet submitted a firm and quantified offer
The leader decided to play ” transparency ” and widely communicated in the press, highlighting his attachment to the profession (his father and grandfather were bathroom installers) and his DNA “made in France”. “ We are a family SME, concerned about the economic dependence of France, explains Rodriguez. There is a Gallic, patriotic side to us. We are not at all in the same paradigm as an American multinational which invests in the Manchester United club and hosts the Ryder Cup in its golf course in Wisconsin, and for which Damparis is one production unit among others. “
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