Report of the board of management

70 companies in more than 30 countries – an international orientation and an unbridled enthusiasm for innovation have again brought sound growth for the BPW Group in the financial year 2016.

Report of the board of management
Markus Schell, Jan Achim Kotz, Michael Pfeiffer and Uwe Frielingsdorf (left to right)
[Translate to English:] Bericht der Geschäftsführung 2016

The transport and commercial vehicle industry is in motion like no other sector. As an international mobility and system partner with innovative solutions and a forward-looking product portfolio, we continue to support this dynamic development. For years we have been rapidly transforming from a pure supplier and manufacturer of running gears to a partner providing comprehensive solutions. Throughout, we are driven by a curiosity about the markets of tomorrow and the aspiration to offer our customers the best of all possible solutions.

At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016, the BPW Group successfully positioned itself as a market-leading manufacturer of intelligent running gear systems with a clear strategic orientation and numerous product innovations. The autonomous AirSave tyre pressure control system makes the processes of transporters and hauliers considerably more efficient, effective and safe. These benefits have convinced not only our customers but also industry experts, earning us the coveted Trailer Innovation Award 2017. The presentation of our electrically driven and emissionfree eTransport axle likewise attracted a great deal of attention. With this new product, BPW further consolidated its leading position in the development of running gears, while presenting an immediate solution to the most pressing challenges faced by the commercial vehicle industry. This is because eTransport enables distribution vehicles to be conveniently and, above all, quickly converted for e-mobility. You can find out more about this in our chapter Inner City Logistics, where we give you details of our innovations for inner city logistics.

For us, the entire field of digitisation is a trend as important as e-mobility. We looked into digital solutions very intensively at an early stage. Today, our modular cargofleet Trailer Gateway is already one of the best-selling trailer telematics solutions on the market, setting a benchmark in the optimisation of transport processes across all stages of the value chain. Digital solutions will bring further changes to the industry in the future. We are actively shaping this transformation with a view to providing transporters and parts dealers, as well as vehicle and component manufacturers in the truck, trailer and bus segments, with genuine added value and clear competitve advantages. In our key topic Digitisation we present our developments and services for the markets of tomorrow.

[Translate to English:] Bericht der Geschäftsführung 2016

Alongside our innovation management, our new orientation as an international mobility and system partner has made a decisive contribution to all of these innovations. In recent years we have invested heavily in bright minds, creative work processes and a long-term personnel policy, creating plenty of scope for new ideas. With a great deal of openness, we have established new structures and further increased the scope for supporting our employees. You will find a report on our new Innovation Lab in Siegburg and more information about our personnel policy in the chapter Innovative management. We are convinced that, by taking all these innovative measures, we have critically enhanced the future viability not only of the BPW Group but also of our satisfied customers. That is why we are particularly emphasising innovation in this year’s Annual Report. We also kick off with the topic of curiosity – a main driving force for us, and the heart of all innovation.

While our eyes are turned to the future, we are also more than satisfied with what we have achieved to date. With 6,929 employees, the BPW Group generated consolidated sales of 1.373 billion euros in 2016, in a challenging market environment. This represents an increase in sales of 9.6 percent against the previous year. In the past financial year we sold more than half a million axles with an axle load of more than 5.5 tonnes worldwide. This enabled us to further consolidate our position as European market leader. Our success is based on three strong segments: we generate 60.7 percent of our sales with running gear technologies; at 30.2 percent, parts trade and services is our second-strongest and fastest-growing segment; and the truck and trailer equipment segment is continuing to advance, at a current rate of 9.1 percent. Thanks to the organic growth of the BPW Group, and its targeted acquisitions, the spare parts business has grown especially strongly over the last two years. In Europe, we now have more than 160 branch offices in spare parts distribution. In addition, we have invested in digitising our processes and in extending our range of products. As a result, our customers benefit from significantly higher and faster availability in the parts market.

In a heterogeneous and sometimes difficult market environment, the ongoing positive economic development in Germany and Europe underscored the strong sales performance of the BPW Group. Europe where we generated 76 percent of Group sales in 2016, continues to represent our home market. We also benefited from the stabilisation of markets in Eastern Europe. In contrast, our business activities in Turkey and the Middle East are overshadowed by an uncertain political situation. In Asia, on the other hand, we achieved clear growth in sales. In China we also benefited from a considerable surge of investment into new vehicles that meet more stringent local legal requirements.

We assume that we will continue operating in a stable economic environment in the financial year 2017. Fears regarding increased trade protectionism that arose at the beginning of the year have remained unsubstantiated so far. The most important commodity prices are relatively stable and the growth experienced by the transport industry is expected to continue, as is the positive development of the overall economy in our core markets. We therefore anticipate robust growth in 2017 as well. Nevertheless, the market is demanding increased flexibility from all players, and there are many factors affecting our markets at the present time. In addition, cross-sector trends such as e-mobility and digitisation are set to further increase the dynamism of our industry. Against this backdrop, the race for the best solutions and talents has only just begun. As an innovation leader in the industry, we aim to extend our lead. Our forward-looking products and services give us a strong basis in our endeavour to keep driving forward the market, for the benefit of our customers.

heavy axles of over 5.5 tonnes sold on the international market
million in sales

Distribution of sales in %

Running gear technology
Parts trade & services
Truck & trailer equipment

Distribution of sales by region in %

Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Rest of the world