Strong Growth in Asia
"Despite challenging economic conditions, with 1.3 billion euros in 2018, we achieved the highest sales in our 93-year corporate history. This was only possible thanks to our employees, who tackled the challenges with enthusiasm and high commitment," says Dr. Harald Marquardt, Chief Executive Officer. "With integrated mechatronic solutions, we were able to further strengthen our position in the past fiscal year to achieve growth in Europe, America and Asia. We were very pleased with the strong increase in sales revenue in China, where we are particularly benefiting from the boom in electric vehicles. As a partner to leading brands, we will help shape the future of mobility. To this point, we have again made substantial investments in research and development, as well as in our global production network, creating numerous jobs worldwide."
Marquardt Battery Management Systems for E-Cars in Great Demand
The demand for high-quality electro-mechanical components continued to heighten in the automotive business unit, which accounted for nearly eighty percent of Marquardt's sales in 2018. The company supplied many well-known carmakers with gear selector switches, remote key fobs, multi-functional steering wheel switches and touchpads, as well as driver authorization systems for maximum theft protection. Marquardt continues to record particularly high demand for battery management systems. These ensure that cells in electric cars are charged and discharged evenly, significantly increasing the vehicle’s range and battery life.
The company also observed great success in the Switches, Sensors & Controls business unit in the 2018 fiscal year due to an increase in demand for sensors and control elements for domestic and heating appliances, among other developments. Sales for brushless professional power tool switches, as well as control units for construction and agricultural machinery, also developed positively.
Strategic Investments for Further Growth
Marquardt created the basis for further growth in 2018 with numerous investments. In Pune, India, the company is building a development center that is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2020 and will provide space for 500 engineers. Marquardt built its second plant in China in the city of Weihai. The facility is on-track to start producing components for the automotive industry within the next few months. Marquardt also opened a new production site in Ichtershausen, Thuringia, Germany. The location will manufacture innovative mechatronic products for the interiors of premium vehicles and battery-powered cars. At its German headquarters in Rietheim-Weilheim, the company is completing construction on its new development and innovation center, an investment totaling over 30 million euros. The center will provide state-of-the-art work spaces for 600 engineers and technicians. Research and development expenditures accounted for 10 percent of the company’s sales in 2018. During the reporting period, the mechatronics specialist filed fifty new patents.
As of 31 December 2018, the Marquardt Group employed 11,226 people worldwide. This represents an increase of 525 employees compared to the previous year. 38 young people in Germany began their training at Marquardt last year. In total, the family-owned company trains more than 150 employees worldwide in 20 different jobs.
Outlook for 2019: Efficiency program to increase profitability
Marquardt anticipates continued growth through the 2019 financial year. In view of the economic slowdown, changes in the automotive industry and rising costs, the company is launching a global efficiency program to secure and improve its profitability and competitiveness for the long-term. This includes reviewing material, personnel and material costs, as well as structures in administration, development and production. At the same time, Marquardt will remain committed to its strategic investments that support the company's growth path and innovative strengths.
"We want to make sustainable use of our enormous potential as a creative mechatronics expert and shape the future with holistic solutions. That is why we are already setting the course today. From a position of strength, we will significantly increase the efficiency and stability of our company in order to be better-prepared for market risks, as well as remain independent and move even stronger into the future," said Dr. Harald Marquardt.