Kiekert AG Business Report FY ended Dec. 2016

Recent Years

Financial Overview

-In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the Company generated sales of approximately EUR 870 million.


-The Company announced that it has acquired full ownership of Henan North Xingguang Locking Systems Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of door, hood and trunk locking systems in which the Company has held a minority interest since 2005. The Henan North Xingguang 140,000-square-meter production facility in Zhengzhou, Henan, China will operate as Kiekert China Zhengzhou (KCZ). The acquisition will increase the Company's share of the Asian market for automotive locking systems by up to 20%. Founded in 2005, Henan North Xingguang has 550 employees and reported sales of USD 57 million in 2014. (From a press release on August 20, 2015)

Joint Ventures

-The Company and Korea-based Kwangjin Sanggong will invest USD 24 million to establish a joint venture in Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi-Do, Korea. The new company will be called Kwangjin Kiekert Limited and will manufacture door components. Kwangjin Sanggong is headquartered in Gyeongju City and produces door modules, door latches, door opening and closing systems, and window regulators. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on November 17, 2016)


-The Company announced that it has received a Silver World Excellence Award from Ford Motor Company. (From a press release on June 29, 2015)


-The Company expects that its sales for the 2017 fiscal year will reach EUR 900 million.

R&D Expenditure

-During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, the Company invested EUR 28 million in research and development.

R&D Structure

-The Company has approximately 450 engineers working on research and development.

R&D Facilities

-The Company has six research and development centers in the following locations:

  • Wixom, Michigan, U.S.
  • Puebla, Mexico
  • Heiligenhaus, Germany
  • Prelouc, Czech Republic
  • Changshu, China
  • Seoul, South Korea

Product Development

Trunk latch system with automatic closure function
-The Company developed a new trunk latch system. The new product is lightweight, compact, has a high level of noise-absorption, and includes safety features such as an automatic closure function. The Company began developing this technology in 2014, and completed the design, measuring, and inspection processes at the end of 2015. Series production of this product began at the Company’s Changshu facility in 2016. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on November 28, 2016)

i-protect car door brake system
-The Company plans to introduce an innovative brake system for car doors called "i-protect." The Company's sensor-based system is designed to reduce sheet metal damage and costly insurance claims by automatically stopping car doors from striking other objects as they are being opened. (From a press release on July 21, 2015)

E-Latch door opening concept
-The Company is offering a glimpse of the future of the electrical latch, E-Latch, with its door opening concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2015. In the new "Budii" from Rinspeed, the Company will show how the E-Latch will enable electric door opening without the need for handles. Vehicle designers consciously exclude external door handles on their futuristic concept cars. Using the E-Latch as its basis, the Company is showcasing a concept that offers vehicle manufacturers wide-ranging styling and design options. The spectrum ranges from the integration of the handle within the door to dispensing with it altogether. Contact with a touch sensor on the door's "outer skin" is all it takes for the vehicle door to open automatically. (From a press release on March 3, 2015)

Systems displayed at 2015 Shanghai Auto Show
-At the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, the Company displayed an industry-first LED locking system, where an LED warning light is integrated into the latch and can be seen by other motorists. In addition, the Company showcased its Beta latch platform, designed specifically for the Asia Pacific region. The Beta latch platform can be used in a variety of applications and be modified to include functions such as an electric opening mechanism or a modular power closing function. (From a press release on April 21, 2015)

LED latch
-The Company announced that it has developed an LED latch, thus uniting the safety and security issues of locking systems and light within one door latch. While conventional safety solutions place the door warning lamp in the side door paneling, Kiekert has integrated the light directly into the latch. Compared with conventional solutions, the warning light built into the door latch is visible to road users through the entire opening radius. Development of the LED latch began at the end of 2013. The LED latch has now reached production maturity and can be incorporated into any vehicle. The Company is currently in discussion with several automakers regarding the LED latch. (From a press release on October 9, 2014)

New latches
-The Company announced that it has reduced the weight of its locking systems over the last two vehicle generations by 40-50% compared with commercially available latches, while retaining the same functionality. Within the last vehicle generation alone, the Company has achieved weight savings of 1-3 kilograms per vehicle in the premium platform and volume market segments. Through systematic optimization of system architecture, the packaging space in the respective platform segments was reduced by 15-30%. (From a press release on August 29, 2014)

-The Company has developed its truck latch, adding a host of products for heavy commercial vehicles. The truck latch can be expanded flexibly to incorporate a wide array of comfort functions in line with customer wishes. These include central locking, anti-theft security, switches and sensors. The Company's newest generation of truck latches provide a weight saving of approximately 30% per truck in comparison to conventional truck latches. The robust quality of the latch is also reflected in its rigidity performance, which is twice as high as statutory requirements. Through flexible fixing points, the Company's truck latch can be integrated into any door. (From a press release on August 25, 2014)

-The Company has expanded its Beta latch, developed in China, into a modular latch platform. Production is taking place at its facility in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, China. The new generation of the side door latch platform unites an intelligent system architecture, robust quality and compact dimensions comparable to those of modern smartphones. (From a press release on April 16, 2014)


-As of December 31, 2016, the Company has more than 2,000 patents.

Investments outside Germany

-The Company is continuing further expansion of its Czech development and manufacturing center at its location in Prelouc. In the last 10 years, the Company has invested CZK 4 billion, delivered 350 million products and doubled its workforce to 2,600 at the latch factory. This includes investment in the construction of a new testing center, which will be completed in 2017. The expansion will increase production capacity at the Czech plant from 35 million locking systems annually in 2013 to 50 million units this year. The Company’s Prelouc location is responsible for annual revenues of CZK 8 billion, with revenue growth of 30% since 2013. (From a press release on August 17, 2016)

-The Company announced the opening of a new production building at its Prelouc, Czech Republic plant. Following a nine-month construction period, the latch factory has added a 10,000 square meters of production area. The new two-story production building completes the company's approximately 55,000-square-meter production site. With seven new assembly lines, the current capacity of more than 22 million side door latches per year increases to more than 35 million. The Company has invested around EUR 14 million in this project. (From a press release on January 9, 2014)

-The Company has started to invest USD 1 million to expand its U.S. development and manufacturing center in Wixom, Michigan in 2016. In total, the Company will have invested more than USD 2.2 million to expand its local testing and prototype development facilities and its production capacity since 2013. The improvements will nearly triple production at the Wixom plant from 350,000 door-latch modules in 2013 to more than 1 million units in 2016. The expansion will add 15,000 square feet, expanding the Wixom facility to 50,000 square feet. The Company’s 120 Wixom employees focus on the development of products to address market trends including digitization, mobility, convenience and urbanization. The Company’s locations in North America are responsible for nearly USD 200 million in annual revenue combined. (From a press release on June 14, 2016)

-On November 5, 2015, the Company held a press meeting at its plant in Changshu, China, announcing that it will increase its investment in the Chinese market. The Company forecasts its worldwide sales will reach CNY 6 billion in 2015, of which CNY 840 million is expected to be generated in China. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on November 18, 2015)

-With the acquisition of Henan North Xingguang Locking Systems Co. Ltd., the Company gained a 140,000-square-foot production facility in Zhengzhou, China. The production facility produces side door, engine hood, and rear locking systems. (From a press release on August 20, 2015)

-The Company has opened a new plant in Naberezhnye Chelny in the partially autonomous Russian republic of Tatarstan. The new facility is specialized in manufacturing automotive locking systems. The plant has approximately 30 employees and is currently in the process of starting production. (From a press release on May 13, 2014)