August 15, 2019: It is with sadness that Batteries International has to report the death of Guy Dauwe, the dynamic and much liked managing director of Amer-Sil, the separator and gauntlet manufacturing company with headquarters based in Luxembourg. He died of cancer in a Luxembourg hospital on July 25.
His family posted a simple message. “He loved life. We have the deepest pain to inform you of the death of our dear father, son, brother and spouse.” He leaves behind a nine-year-old son.
Amer-Sil said they extended their deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and his close ones. “He will be deeply missed at many levels,” said Gérard Chaix, a retired managing director of the firm who has remained a consultant and adviser to the business.
“His approach to everyone could probably be called paternalist, He was keen to get the best out of people for their benefit as much as for the company. He was a great guy to work with.”
Chaix, who interviewed Guy for his initial senior marketing position and then named him as successor on his own retirement, said: “Intellectually he was brilliant, he stood head and shoulders above the rest. He was a very high level person — a man full of ideas. And good ideas too.”
Claudia Lorenzini, vice president of sales and marketing at rival firm Microporous said: “I’m shocked to hear about the loss of Guy. Although we were technically competitors, we were always able to chat comfortably with each other. He was a clever, warm and intelligent man — and not somebody, as some are, who create barriers because of rivalry.”
Jan Peynsaert, who was interviewed by Guy before his death, has been appointed the new managing director. He was formerly executive vice president of JSR Micro, the European arm of the Japanese giant. Peynsaert starts on September 1.
In the broader industry Guy was a popular figure seen most often at conferences where his talent for languages — including a strong sense of humour — and open and easy manner made him an approachable ambassador for his company and the industry.
He was a firm supporter of the International Lead Association, a keen member of Battery Council International in the US, EUROBAT in Europe and in part because of Amer-Sil’s manufacturing plant in Shanghai a member of the Asia Battery Association. He, with his firm, was a regular attendee at the Asia Battery Conference and LABAT.
He was outspoken too on what he regarded as the hysteria surrounding the advent of electric vehicles.
Speaking to Batteries International last December he said: “I don’t see electric cars making a big impact anytime soon. The speed of introduction of EVs is totally overhyped.
“The cars are too expensive, the range too small and the charging infrastructure not in place (no standards, and it’ll take decades to roll it out).”
Guy joined Luxembourg-based Amer-Sil, in April 2005 as an executive vice president in charge of sales and marketing. In July the following year, he took over from Chaix on his retirement. One of his early initiatives was to move the firm into lean management and continue Chaix’s concerns about investment in R&D. In 2009 Guy spearheaded the setting up of a manufacturing plant in Shanghai.
In December 2014, Guy led the successful management buy out of Amer-Sil from the US parent The Moore Company. Since then the firm has set up a manufacturing plant in Brazil and thanks to a successful joint venture with Indian gauntlet market leader Ketex managed by Sukumar Roy, Amer-sil Ketex is now heading four factories in India and one in Bangladesh.
“At the time of his death Guy, as a true entrepreneur and long term oriented individual was preparing to set up a new company to further develop the business,” said Chaix.
From 120 people in 2009, the Amer-sil Group has grown to a workforce of 650 people as of today.
Before Amer-Sil he worked for almost six years at Delphi Automotive Systems, initially as a value stream manager based in France and later as customer manager thermal & interior in Luxembourg. Previously he spent five years working across the US for TRW.
He gained the equivalent of an MBA (a DESS) in 1992 after studying at IAE FRANCE — Écoles Universitaires de Management. Before then he had gained a masters in mechanical engineering Mechatronics.
He was just 51 when he died.