Interview: Bruce G. Warmbold, CEO Americas, Schaeffler Group USA
How Schaeffler managed the rapid increase in output volumes needed to support market growth in North America following the downturn
When the downturn happened in 2009 we had to make some adjustments in manufacturing, but we didn’t reduce any investment in R&D. That allowed us to develop products for the market, knowing that CAFE standards were just around the corner and eventually the industry would recover. As a result, we’ve not only achieved improvements in volume, but from 2009 to 2014 we actually increased vehicle content in those vehicles using our parts by 55%. Although the industry grew by 6% as a whole in 2014, our OE sales grew 20% in North America and that figure was higher in the years before that. We’re very fortunate with the industry recovery and the content we’re launching now, as many of the products were developed during the downturn.