Global research network
Fleet consumption and CO2 reduction are subjects that unite the automotive world. All manufacturers face the challenge of significantly reducing the consumption and emissions of their vehicles within a demanding timescale. This has required great efforts in powertrain engineering in recent years, always individually adapted to the technical conditions of the respective markets. MAHLE therefore places great value on global technological leadership in all of its business units, and these efforts will continue to increase in the coming decades.
Local presence is important in order to successfully handle regional differences and cultures of both companies and countries–even the local language can help build bridges. This allows long-term business relationships to be established with our customers. And these customers may not just open up opportunities in the local market–in many cases, they are part of a global manufacturer's network. MAHLE is optimally prepared for these challenges with 75,000 employees worldwide at around 170 production locations and 16 major Tech Centers. In addition to the Tech Centers, MAHLE operates many smaller development competence centers for key projects and has equipped a large number of its production plants with autonomous testing facilities.
Exchange takes place regularly between the MAHLE Tech Centers, as new research results and findings are discussed jointly and efficient technology transfer is ensured for internal projects. MAHLE also cooperates with numerous external research associations, societies, and colleges around the world. The transfer of knowledge between industry and science, as well as research activities that extend beyond the borders of the Group help to identify additional potential for developing more efficient vehicle technologies. MAHLE concentrates here not only on the optimization of passenger car engines, but also gives attention to heavy-duty commercial vehicle and large engines.
The corporate and technological challenge, which is to be addressed against the backdrop of globalization, is to strike a balance between diversification and standardization. These two parameters are directly linked to each other because the highest possible level of standardization is what enables a wide range of products that are profitable in the long term, but at the same time it is also the limiting factor. Consequently, the ideal product portfolio is broad, modular, and very flexible.
Individual influences through culture, politics, and market-specific requirements will continue to have an impact on diversification. Nevertheless, it will always be interesting and necessary to seek out synergy and scale effects in markets that initially appear to have fundamentally different technological orientations, especially because such an approach may yield impetus from which various regions stand to benefit. Even if the products are specific to the region, the manufacturers behind them are increasingly global.