Starting its independent status Linde Hydraulics plans to invest millions
Linde Hydraulics GmbH and Co. KG, developer and supplier of modular drive systems that use hydraulics, electrical engineering and electronics, has completed the spin-off process from the KION Group and is now beginning its new-found independence by initiating several projects at the same time. The technology leader in the high-pressure hydraulics sector will further consolidate its international growth strategy by constructing a completely new main plant in Aschaffenburg, with greatly increased capacity. Research and development activities and the distribution network in the growth region of China are also being actively expanded, and eight-figure EUR investments are planned over the next three to five years.
The financing for this significant surge in growth was agreed as part of the investment in a 70% holding in Linde Hydraulics by Weichai Power Co. Ltd. (“Weichai Power”) on 31 August 2012. Listed company Weichai Power is one of the leading suppliers of drive systems in the commercial vehicle, construction machinery and automotive sector, with approximately 42,000 employees and a turnover of approximately EUR 7.5 billion (2011). The remaining 30% shares in Linde Hydraulics will continue to be held by Linde Material Handling GmbH, a company in the KION Group, which will continue to use drive systems from Linde Hydraulics in its products in future. Linde Hydraulics was spun-off from the KION Group as part of the transaction, and is an independent company as of 1 January 2013.
Continuity in leadership
The seasoned management team made up of Dr. Jörg Ulrich (speaker of the management board and Head of Finance, SCM and Order Management and Strategy), Thorsten Van der Tuuk (Sales, Marketing, Research and Development) and Dr. Steffen Appel (Production and Quality) remains unchanged and will continue with the successful corporate strategy: “Becoming independent was a logical step following Linde Hydraulics’ increase in customer acquisition outside of the KION Group in recent years. We will consistently use the extensive investment to further consolidate Linde Hydraulics’ profitable growth and market position, thereby also creating more jobs in future”, says Dr. Jörg Ulrich, speaker of the management board of Linde Hydraulics.
Thorsten Van der Tuuk, member of the Linde Hydraulics management board, adds: “With the significantly increased investment in research and development, application engineering and sales, as well as with a better access to the Chinese market, we will be even closer to our customers in future and will continue to expand our position as technological market leader in order to suit our customers’ requirements”. According to these team members, development expertise will remain unchanged in Germany.
New construction at Aschaffenburg Nilkheim
Linde Hydraulics’ new main plant is to be built right next to the former plant at Aschaffenburg Nilkheim. The first preliminary studies for this project have already been created and discussed with the new owners. Capacity at the plant is set to increase from the current figure of around 130,000 drives to over 250,000 drives a year. “It is an incredible opportunity for a company with a long and successful history, such as Linde Hydraulics, to set themselves up with a completely new building like this one”, says Dr. Steffen Appel, member of the Linde Hydraulics management board. The entire workflow, including manufacturing, assembly, test benches and varnishing, will all take place under one roof in future, and processes will be further enhanced as a result. The new central plant provides Linde Hydraulics with distinct advantages in the creation of production and logistics processes, leading, in turn, to additional market opportunities.
Thanks to the market position of Weichai Power, the new investor in Linde Hydraulics, as one of the leading industrial companies in China, Linde Hydraulics will be able to gain additional sales opportunities in the Chinese growth market. Improved access to the largest of the Asian markets will also lead to more effective collaboration with existing and potential customers of the new Linde Hydraulics, who in many cases already have their own plants in Asia. The sales partnership with Eaton in the Asia-Pacific region and in America remains unchanged.
The former foreign companies in Italy, Spain, France and China were converted to Linde Hydraulics subsidiaries during the spin-off from the KION Group. The foreign companies in the USA and the UK were already trading previously as Linde Hydraulics subsidiaries.
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