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Strategy

Overview

Where We Come From

Brothers Dr. Wilhelm Schaeffler and Dr.-Ing. E. h. Georg Schaeffler
Brothers Dr. Wilhelm Schaeffler and Dr.-Ing. E. h. Georg Schaeffler

The Schaeffler Group boasts a long, eventful history of success. Since its founding in 1946 by brothers Dr. Wilhelm and Dr.-Ing. E. h. Georg Schaeffler, the company has evolved into an automotive and industrial supplier of global stature. The company’s rise began in 1949 when Dr. Georg Schaeffler invented the cage-guided needle bearing. Soon INA was manufacturing this new product in huge quantities for the German automobile industry. Shaped by the highest standards of quality, technology, and innovation, the company grew organically and sustainable on a global scale in the years that followed. The strategic acquisitions of LUK Lamellen- und Kupplungsbau in 1998 and FAG Kugelfischer in 2001 further fueled this growth. Today, the company produces components and systems under these three product brands for various customer groups and areas of applications – for the automobile industry and for many other industrial sectors alike.

The acquisition of an interest in Continental AG in 2008 represented another milestone in the company’s history. Triggered by the financial and economic crisis, this move prompted the Schaeffler Group to realign its corporate and capital structure. At the end of 2014, the “two-pillar model” was established. This model called for the Continental investment to be separated from Schaeffler AG as part of a family holding company. The realignment ended with the successful IPO of Schaeffler AG in 2015. Organic growth continued during these years on the strength of the robust and continuously improving business operations of the Schaeffler Group. This enabled the company to transform its organizational and leadership structure, and to reduce its debt systematically, which earned the company an Investment grade rating in 2016.

IPO of Schaeffler AG in October 2015
IPO of Schaeffler AG in October 2015

Where We are Heading

This is the solid starting position from which Schaeffler AG can now look toward the future. The transformation has been successful. The team is in place. The groundwork has been laid for continued profitable growth. We have taken on a great challenge for the years to come. Our goals go beyond merely growing profitably, investing, and creating jobs. We also want to set a course that is right for the Schaeffler Group in the future. 

To that end, we took much of 2016 to develop our strategic direction, starting with the strategic concept we developed together in 2014, and have summarized them here in this brochure. Four crucial megatrends form the starting point for our strategy: Climate change, urbanization, globalization, and digitalization. These trends give rise to four focus areas in which we intend to work as a global automotive and industrial supplier to shape mobility for tomorrow: Eco-friendly drives, urban mobility, interurban mobility, and optimized energy chain.

This is the solid starting position we have set ourselves for the goal of drawing on our strength as an automotive and industrial supplier and partnering with our customers to shape the mobility of the future. That is why we are calling our strategy “Mobility for tomorrow”. The Executive Board of Schaeffler AG developed the plan in close communication with our senior management across the globe, basing it on 8 strategic pillars. These pillars define the scope of action over the years to come and are described in greater detail on the pages that follow. We are using the Excellence program “Agenda 4 plus One”, which comprises 16 strategic initiatives, to ensure that the strategy is put into action.

Chronology of Schaeffler Group, 2009 – 2016
Chronology of Schaeffler Group, 2009 – 2016

Schaeffler Group at a Glance

Corporate headquarters in Herzogenaurach
Corporate headquarters in Herzogenaurach

The Schaeffler Group is a global automotive and industrial supplier. Top quality, outstanding technology, and exceptionally innovative spirit form the basis for the continued success of the company. By delivering high-precision components and systems in engine, transmission, and chassis applications, as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a large number of industrial applications, the Schaeffler Group is already shaping “Mobility for tomorrow” to a significant degree.

In 2015 the Schaeffler Group generated revenue of around EUR 13.2 billion. With approximately 85,000 employees, over 170 locations in more than 50 countries, and a worldwide network of production sites, research and development centers, and sales locations, the Schaeffler Group is one of the world’s largest family-owned companies. As a global development partner and supplier, Schaeffler cultivates stable relationships with customers and suppliers that are built to last.

Key Figures