Benteler AG Business report FY2008
|(in million euros)
| Rate of change
Chassis Systems Product Group
-The Chassis Systems Product Group's sales were down 5 %.
-Module sales decreased because one customer procured materials for a major order directly.
-A plant closing in Canada also had the effect of reducing revenues.
-A new module order began in Spain; here Automotive Division built a module assembly plant for the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza.
-Production of chassis components remained at the previous year's level in 2008.
Structures Product Group
-The Structures Product Group's sales revenues maintained the prior year's level in 2008.
-As in the other units, sales volumes to outside customers decreased.
-But this decrease was compensated by increased deliveries of press parts to other product groups.
Engine and Exhaust Systems Product Group
-The Engine and Exhaust Systems Product Group's sales revenues were down 16 % in 2008.
-Lower sales volumes caused revenues for exhaust systems to decrease especially sharply in North America.
-In components for engine management and fuel supply, the revision of the product portfolio in past years joined with recent economic conditions to reduce revenues.
Engineering Services Product Group
-During the year, a portion of the Engineering Services Product Group's activities were transferred to other product groups, so that sales are not comparable with the prior-year figures.
-The Company founded a joint venture with European carbon fiber maker SGL Group. Benteler SGL GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Paderborn,
pools the capabilities of Benteler Automotive and the SGL Group in automotive component production and development, and in the production of carbon fibers and semifinished materials.
-In Feb. 2009, Benteler-SGL GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, has acquired the Austrian company Fischer Composite Technology GmbH (FCT). Benteler-SGL GmbH & Co. KG is a joint venture of Benteler AG and the SGL Group of Germany. The joint venture manufactures and distributes composite components based on carbon-fibers (CFRPs) for the automotive industry. FCT is a supplier of automotive composite components and the product portfolio includes exterior components such as sideblades and doors. (From a press release on Feb 9, 2009)
-In 2008, the Company increased its development expenditure to 123.3 million euros or 12.8% more than in 2007.
-Through the joint venture, Benteler SGL GmbH & Co. KG, the Company identified components in which to use a steel-CFP composite that can reduce weight or increase performance significantly for a reasonable additional cost. Studies showed weight savings of up to 50 %, depending on the component. The innovative composite can be used, for example, to make CFP-reinforced B-pillars that are designed individually to meet particular crash resistance requirements. A variety of approaches were also developed to make the technology suitable for large series production.
|(in million euros)
-The Company invested 208 million euros in the reporting year,
35 % less than in the previous year. Of this sum, 165 million euros
were invested in tangible fixed assets.
-133 million euros, or 64 %, went for production facilities and equipment in the Automotive Division, primarily for new orders. Important single projects included axis projects for Toyota and Audi, and a new hot forming line. There were no major investments to establish new plants in 2008.
Investments outside Germany
-Automotive Division built a module assembly plant for the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza.