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Rietheim-Weilheim, Germany, March 31, 2021 – Due to a good fourth quarter and countermeasures introduced at an early stage, the Marquardt Group was able to limit the negative effects of the Corona crisis this past financial year. At the same time, the globally-active family-owned company continued to focus on its transformation by further developing its sites and investing in research and development. The mechatronics specialist generated sales of around 1.2 billion euros in 2020, a nearly 13 percent decline from 2019 sales, due to the worldwide pandemic. Marquardt performed better compared to the global automotive industry, which was down by almost 16 percent in 2020. The company again recorded significant growth in the area of electromobility.
"The past fiscal year was characterized by unforeseen obstacles, setbacks and extreme volatility. Our employees around the world demonstrated extreme flexibility and commitment in an unprecedented situation. This enabled us to win new customers, even under the most difficult pandemic conditions and a temporarily flat economy", said Dr. Harald Marquardt, CEO of the Marquardt Group. "Likewise, we have consistently driven our transformation forward and worked intensively on new product developments for future growth areas, whether for electromobility, vehicle interiors or intelligent solutions for household appliances. We have been able to further improve our overall market position against international competition."
Battery management systems and solutions for vehicle interiors are sales drivers
While global vehicle sales fell from just under 89 million to around 75 million units in 2020, Marquardt benefited from the automotive industry transformation and the rising demand for electric vehicles. The company more than doubled its sales of battery management systems in the reporting period. Marquardt also increased the development of electromechanical components for hydrogen-powered vehicles. Through the addition of the company’s new 'Power and Energy Solutions' business unit, the mechatronics expert bundled its competencies in the field of electromobility at the beginning of 2021, which has set the course for accelerated growth for years to come.
Ambient lighting for Mercedes S-Class
In the Automotive business unit, which generated almost eighty percent of Marquardt's sales, the company was particularly successful with touchpads for premium vehicle and steering wheel switches. Marquardt also launched active ambient lighting in the interior of the new Mercedes S-Class for the first time in 2020. Up to 320 individually controllable LEDs enable visual feedback via lighting effects, for example, for voice recognition, vehicle warnings, or showing changes in temperature when operating the air conditioning.
Non-automotive solutions, including entry into the production of protective masks
For the reporting period in the non-automotive business units, the company was very successful in battery systems for commercial vehicles and operating units for construction and agricultural machinery, among other things. Business with sensors and operating elements for home and heating appliances, controls for state-of-the-art battery-powered tools, and electronic locking systems for electric vehicles also developed positively.
Marquardt also expanded its activities in the health & medical industry, when it successfully implemented the start of production of FFP2 masks and medical face masks in Germany.
In addition to quickly creating a comprehensive hygiene policy to keep its employees safe, the family-owned company also helped fight COVID-19 beyond its factory gates by supplying several hospitals and social institutions with medical protective equipment, worldwide, for example.
Investments in sites and research and development despite crisis
Despite the difficult environment and increased cost pressure, Marquardt made numerous investments in its global locations, research and development, and in furthering its transformation. In Pune, the company started operations in a newly-constructed building for research and development where more than 400 engineers are working on mechatronic system solutions, specifically for the Indian market. At its Thuringia site in Ichtershausen, Germany, Marquardt has more than tripled its floor space for production, logistics and administration.
Expenditure on research and development amounted to more-than 10 percent of 2020 financial year sales. In the reporting period, the mechatronics specialist applied for 63 new patents.
Sustainability management expanded
The family-owned company has further expanded and intensified its sustainability management, globally. The company’s focus has remained on environmental protection, occupational and product safety, and data integrity. By establishing a new "Code of Conduct for Business Partners," Marquardt ensured it involved its suppliers in significantly reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, Marquardt is involved in the "Sustainability" working group of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), in order to set industry standards with regard to human rights and environmental protection.
Additional jobs created in software development
As of December 31, 2020, the Marquardt Group employed around 10,600 people, worldwide. Due to the sharp downturn in the global market, the company had to adjust its personnel structure at its international locations to reduce excess capacity. On the other hand, new jobs were created, primarily in software development, in order to help successfully shape the transformation and technological changes in highly integrated mechatronic system solutions. Marquardt employs around 1,300 engineers, worldwide.
In Germany, 25 young people started apprenticeships or dual university studies at Marquardt last year. In total, the family-owned company currently trains more than 150 employees in 18 apprenticeship professions at its headquarters and at several international locations.
Outlook: good order situation for 2021 and noticeable growth expected in the coming years.
"The Corona crisis is not yet over and the global economy has not yet stabilized on a sustainable basis. This can be seen, for example, in the bottlenecks in semiconductors, which are increasingly becoming a challenge for the entire automotive industry," says Dr. Harald Marquardt. Looking to the future, the CEO is nevertheless optimistic. "We have been able to leverage the momentum from the last few months in 2020 to start the new fiscal year off on a good note. Current customer demand, as well as, above all, the positive customer response to our innovations, we are optimistic. Furthermore, beyond 2021, our company will benefit from a transformation initiated at an early stage, including substantial investment in new business and product areas, which have already and will continue to pay off. As a mechatronics systems supplier, we are represented in key technologies of the future. We, therefore, expect a surplus of tangible growth in the coming years."Download Pressemitteilung (12 MB, ZIP)