Behr Business Report FY2008

Business Highlights

Financial Overview (in million euros)
FY2008 FY2007 Change
of ratio
Sales 3,332 3,383 (1.5) 1)
Earning before taxes (70) 40 - 2)
Sales by Divisions
Automotive air-conditioning 1,279 1,391 (8.1) 3)
Engine cooling systems 1,552 1,532 1.3 4)

-In 2008, sales decreased by 1.5% to 3,332 million euros. Including currency adjustments, this corresponds to an increase in sales of 0.2%.
-The international share of overall sales was 70%, about the same level as the previous year.
-Sales increased in Germany by 7.1% over 2007 to 1,078 million euros.
-In the rest of Europe, sales declined by 1.8% and achieved 1,172 million euros overall.
-In North America, the dramatic market drop caused a 11.9% decline in sales. This corresponds to a minus of 87 million euros in comparison to the previous year. Including currency adjustments, this is a decrease of 6%.
-In Asia, the Company's sales also decreased. With 209 million euros, the Company fell below the previous year's value by 5.9%. This is primarily due to the temporary slump on the Indian market.
-In Brazil, South Africa, and Rest of World, the Company achieved sales of 227 million euros, thus maintaining the previous year's level.
-Overall, the Company achieved a 1.9% increase in sales in the markets Brazil, Mexico, Eastern Europe, India, and China to 605 million euros.

-There are several reasons for the negative trend. These primarily include the continued difficult market situation in the USA as well as the collapse of the European market in the fourth quarter of 2008.

-In the Air Conditioning Product Division, sales declined by 8.1% to 1,279 million euros. This decrease is primarily attributable to the weak market in North America. In addition, the increasing price pressure and high percentage of vehicles now equipped with A/C systems also had an effect.

-Despite the depressed market, the Company expanded its strong position in engine cooling products. With sales of 1,552 million euros, the Company increased sales in this product division by 1.3%.

-The Company supplies the indirect charge air cooler for turbo V8 gasoline engines of the BMW 7 Series

-In 2008, the Company announced that it will supply air conditioning system to Indian automobile Tata Nano.

The Company supplies the following products to the new Porsche Panamera:
-Refrigerant and heating circuit including production of the lines
-Four-zone climate control system with temperature and air mass control housed in a single unit.
-Cabin air ducting including production of the air guiding elements for air distribution
-A/C control system and control head from Behr-Hella Thermocontrol (BHTC)
-Cooling module for engine and powertrain

New Company
-At the beginning of 2009, a new company was founded in China. This new company will provide air conditioning components and cooling systems for one of the largest manufacturers of heavy-duty commercial vehicles.


R&D Expenditure (in million euros)
FY2008 FY2007 FY2006


254 241 229

% of sales

7.6% 7.1% 7.2%

R&D Structure
-In 2008, R&D expenditure increased by 5.4% and was at 254 million euros in 2008.

-In the fourth quarter of 2008, the Company decreased R&D expenditure considerably.

Product Developments
Indirect Charge Air Cooling
-In 2008, BMW's turbo V8 gasoline engine, featuring the Company's indirect charge air cooling system, went into series production. As opposed to the air-cooled charge air cooler, the indirect charge air cooler can be mounted on the engine and is cooled by a separate low-temperature coolant circuit. Not only does this save package space, the short ducting between charge air and cooler also reduces pressure drop, thus boosting the resulting charge air pressure. At given power levels this enables reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Comfort Vent
-In 2008, the Company brought the comfort vent into series production, the world's first. The Company's solution, which allows draft-free ventilation for the first time without sacrificing air volume, sets new standards in climate comfort in premium vehicles. Thanks to the comfort vent, driver and passengers can select the direction as well as the type of airflow.

Battery Cooling
-In collaboration with Daimler, the Company has developed the cooling technology for the lithium-ion battery. It is cooled by the vehicle's air conditioning circuit and, similar to a rear HVAC module, is directly integrated into the refrigerant circuit. Cooling is achieved using a cooling plate made of aluminum which contains channels in which the refrigerant evaporates. The plate is in thermal contact with the cells of the lithium-ion battery.

New Refrigerant for A/C Systems
-From 2011, the EU prohibits the currently used refrigerant R134a in new vehicle. Possible replacements are R744 (carbon dioxide) or the synthetic R1234yf. Both substances comply with the EU guidelines and make a much smaller contribution to the greenhouse effect. The Company has developed the refrigerant circuits and components for both R744 and R1234yf and is prepared for the introduction of both systems.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure (in million euros)
FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
Total 185 169 150

-In 2008, investments in fixed assets totaled 185 million euros - an increase of 9.5% compared to 2007. The company invested the majority of these funds in the first half of 2008, primarily in capacity expansions of the European plants.

Investment outside Germany
-In Jul. 2008, the Company announced that Behr-Hella Thermocontrol (BHTC) is investing over 5 million Euros in a new facility for the manufacture of climate control panels for the North-American market - a substantial commitment by its American subsidiary, which has been based in Michigan since 2002. The increase in production capacity is required to fulfill an increasing number of orders from customers such as Chrysler, Freightliner, Navistar and Mercedes Benz(Daimler), as well as to meet newly-acquired platform orders as from 2009. (From a press release on Jul 31, 2008)

-In future the Company will be producing HVAC components and engine cooling systems for the China National Heavy Duty Truck Corporation (CNHTC) in China. The long-term cooperation agreement between CNHTC and the Company also envisages the construction of a new plant in the vicinity of Jinan. CNHTC will be responsible for building the infrastructure and the plant. The Company, on the other hand, will invest around 4 million euros in the production facilities. The plant is slated to start production at the end of 2009.