By Pramod Thomas:
MAHLE, a German international development partner and supplier to the automotive industry and a pioneer of the mobility of the future, envisages complete OE competence from 2020. The Group will go through a transitional phase until December 2019. MAHALE’s product portfolio addresses all the crucial issues relating to powertrain and air-conditioning technology for drives with combustion engines and e-mobility.
Olaf Henning, Member of the MAHLE Group Executive Board and Head of the Aftermarket Business Division, told AutoParts Asia that “The OE competence for future mobility enables further aftermarket business. The potential segments are battery (maintenance/rework), power electronics, electric actuators, service solutions, thermal management, electric pumps, and fuel cell components. These product areas are of strategic importance for MAHLE Aftermarket. We are making workshops fit for future challenges. With the take-over of BRAIN BEE and the adoption of thermo-management products by Behr Hella Service, we are growing steadily as a solutions provider and will become a more important partner for our customers. The positive feedback has further confirmed us in our conviction that we have initiated the right steps.”
Almost half of all automobiles produced worldwide contain components manufactured by MAHLE.
In 2017, the group generated sales of approximately EUR 12.8 billion with about 78,000 employees. It is represented in more than 30 countries with 170 production locations. MAHLE Aftermarket serves as the umbrella brand for seven strong, international brands which are known for their top-notch quality and innovation. They include Mahle, Clevite, Behr, Izumi, Knecht Filters, Metal Leve and Brain Bee, the Italian expert for vehicle diagnostics, A-C service, exhaust gas measurement and fluid management that became a part of the Mahle family in 2018.
MAHLE Aftermarket is represented in 25 locations and other sales offices worldwide, with around 1,600 employees. In 2017, the business unit achieved a global sales volume of over EUR 950 million. MAHLE will take over business activities of Behr Hella Service, from January 2020.
“From 2019, the first spare parts from MAHLE Aftermarket will be delivered in a new design. The conversion will be gradual and completed by the end of 2019. With powerful colours, concise information and a clearer layout, the new packaging is designed to make life easier for distributors and workshops. The product name will be placed more prominently on the package. All other information is reduced to the essentials. In addition to the new design, there is an important change to our brand portfolio – MAHLE Original simply becomes MAHLE. Where MAHLE stands, you will always find the original. That is why our umbrella brand MAHLE will be the focus of attention in the future,” Henning said.
MAHLE Aftermarket, the business unit that specialises in spare parts, uses the expertise from the series production of original equipment in its automotive aftermarket product range and supplies trade, workshop, and engine repair partners. The portfolio also includes products developed by MAHLE Service Solutions for workshop equipment as well as comprehensive services and customised training programmes.
“In the coming years, both the number of driver assistance systems and the percentage of passenger cars and trucks equipped with these systems are expected to grow. This will change the way the workshops function. For service and repair work, workshops must readjust radar sensors and camera systems to ensure that assistance systems continue to operate reliably. They need to be calibrated to the geometric axis of the vehicle. Even minimal deviations can lead to the failure of the assistance system. With our TechPRO ADAS, we make this job easier for workshops. Unlike the tools already on the market, only one digital calibration panel is needed to adjust the radar sensors and cameras. Updates are installed automatically to give workshops a solution that is optimally adapted to handle new developments in the field of driver assistance systems,” he said.
In Europe, MAHLE will launch TechPRO in the first quarter of 2019. The new diagnostics solution will cover around 90 percent of all vehicle applications in the European market. The patent-pending TechPRO ADAS tool allows workshops to adjust and calibrate driver assistance systems quickly and easily with a digital calibration panel. This saves time and money. The tool is continuously updated online and expanded to cover more vehicles with this intuitive and sustainable solution. MAHLE Aftermarket’s new generation of A-C service units, with six new units each from the MAHLE and BRAIN BEE brands workshops, benefit from significantly shorter service times, lower service costs, and an added measure of safety. The new MAHLE TechPRO diagnostic tool is ready for use within just seven seconds. The open system is particularly flexible in terms of the choice of operating system.
The newly-launched CareMetix cabin air filter helps to create a healthy and pleasant atmosphere within the vehicle. With its five specific filter layers, it minimises the impact on the respiratory system of motorists and passengers. It filters out unpleasant odours from ammonia, and pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, even for a long period.
MAHLE group wants to focus on HVAC, thermal management, electric auxiliaries, electric drive systems, power electronics and to enter new areas.
“Thermal management is crucial for all kinds of powertrains. Hence we focus more on the Thermal Management Product Range. A modern A-C service is efficient and user-friendly. With our new generation of A-C service units, we are providing the workshop experts with solutions that make it extremely easy and safe to operate and maintain the units,” Henning said.
With the new A-C service units, MAHLE Aftermarket has expanded the workshop connectivity. Using a smartphone app, workshop technicians can view the workflows and unit status, and automatically order a service. Possible leaks in the air-conditioning system are quickly detected with nitrogen or forming gas via a direct connection to the air-conditioner. For a time-saving service, the devices can be serviced remotely; workshops can obtain fast support directly on the unit via Wi-Fi. Workshops have the option of upgrading the A-C service units with the MAHLE vehicle diagnostics tool—the new MAHLE TechPRO or BRAIN BEE Connex from MAHLE Aftermarket. It markets the new A-C service units in the ArcticPRO and AIR-NEX product lines under the MAHLE and BRAIN BEE brands.
MAHLE Aftermarket has also launched turbochargers with milled aluminium impellers for various truck applications throughout the world. They have a longer service life than cast aluminium impellers and are more cost-effective than the titanium alloy equivalent while being similarly resilient.
As part of its Dual Strategy, MAHLE wants to strengthen its existing market position and to shape the future in a changing mobility world.
“MAHLE’s turnover increased from EUR 6.159 billion in 2012 to EUR 12.788 billion in 2017, a 100 percent increase in five years. During the period the employee count increased by 65 percent to over 78,000. In MAHLE, the biggest sales contributor is Thermal Management (35 percent), followed by Engine Systems and Components (22 percent), Filtration and Engine Peripheral (18 percent). The company focuses on highly efficient combustion engines, commercial vehicles and off-highway vehicles, aftermarket and emerging markets. Now the aftermarket segment contributes only seven percent of the overall sales of the group. The company wants to focus more on countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as part of its strategy,” Henning said.