Webasto SE Business Report FY ended Dec. 2017

Recent Years

Financial Overview

-In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, the Company’s net sales increased by 10.2% over the previous year to EUR 3,512 million.

-The Company’s Sunroofs & Components business unit comprised 75% of the Company’s sales in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, with turnover of EUR 2,634 million. The Thermo & Comfort business unit contributed EUR 561 million or 16% of the Company’s total sales, while the Convertibles business unit comprised 9% or approximately EUR 351.2 million.

Recent Developments

-The Company held a ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new plant and the signing of the contract for new energy vehicle power battery system research and development (R&D) center. The Jiaxing new plant will be be built on a site of 64,000 square meters as the 11th production base of Webasto in China. According to the company, the investment in the project is expected to reach Chinese yuan (CNY) 600 million. There will be two construction phases. The first phase requires an investment of CNY 400 million in building a plant of 32,000 square meters. The company intends to end the construction and launch trial operations in 2019. The main products are high-end panorama roofs mainly for SAIC-GM, SAIC-VW, Geely, Zotye Automobile, NIO Auto, and WM Motors, and the annual production capacity is scheduled to reach 1.5 million sets. The company also plans to build a new energy vehicle battery pack R&D center in Jiaxing. (From some releases on April 4, 2018)

-The company announced that it has moved into its new, larger plant in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou (Guangdong Province). During the opening ceremony the company announced that it had achieved sales in China which exceeded EUR 1 billion for the first time in 2017. This means that the Webasto Group generated around a third of its sales in China. Webasto has been present in Guangzhou since 2006 with a sunroofs production. The number of employees should grow from 500 to over 600. The demand for large panorama roofs, in particular, is continuously increasing in China. In Guangzhou it will in future be possible to produce up to 1.6 million sunroofs annually. This means that the plant would be one of the largest Webasto plants worldwide. The main customers are joint ventures such as Dongfeng Nissan, FAW-VW and Guangzhou Honda, which also maintain production facilities in this region. (From a press release on March 28, 2018)

-The Company will start production of roll-type sunshades at its sunroof plants in the U.S. and China in 2017. Currently, the Company is exporting shades for assembly to these countries from its subsidiary, Webasto Japan Co., Ltd., and will transfer technologies from there for the switch to local production. The U.S. and Chinese plants will handle sewing of shade fabric and produce electric shade winding units. The Company will reduce distribution costs by enhancing local production of components in the U.S. and China, which have high demand for sunroofs, and improve product competitiveness. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 24, 2016)


-The Company announced that it has developed a new soft top for the two new Mercedes-AMG GT and GT C Roadsters. The convertible roof of both AMG Roadsters was designed as a high speed-capable soft top by using advanced lightweight materials. Opening and closing the roof takes about eleven seconds, and that at driving speeds of up to 50 km/h. The textile scope of delivery and the access flap system are manufactured at the plant in Velky Meder, Slovakia, while the framework and the final assembly of the soft top are completed at the Webasto Competence Center in the lower Bavarian Hengersberg plant. (From a press release on September 19, 2017)

-The Company announced that it has enabled module soft top for the Spyder version of the Audi Sport high-performance supercar, the Audi R8. Webasto has developed a convertible roof module that combines its key features: lightweight, to emphasize the car’s sports personality, and at the same time rugged and superior quality, to meet the extreme demands of this sportscar. The Webasto engineers developed the module with an integrated rear window that can be lowered individually, thereby ensuring pure sound enjoyment for drivers and their passengers. On the other hand, when the top is down, the rear window can be raised at the touch of a button, so it functions as a wind deflector. (From a press release on September 13, 2017)

-The Company announced that it has implemented an innovative soft top for the convertible Audi A5 Cabriolet that combines technology and materials with new design. It takes is one tug of the switch and the soft top drops to reveal the sky within 15 seconds. It takes 18 seconds for the roof to close. Both of these procedures can be completed at cruising speeds of up to 50 km/h. Comfort has also been improved in terms of acoustics. This is achieved, among other things, by foam-embedding the rear window in the canopy. (From a press release on August 22, 2017)


-Auto Bild: The best brands in all categories 2017/18
-auto motor und sport: Best Brand 2018
-AutoZeitung: Top Marke 2018
-Plus X Award “Best Product of the Year 2017”
-Auto Bild: The best brands in all categories 2016/17
-auto motor und sport: Best Brand 2017
-AutoZeitung: Top Marke 2017
-Focus Top National Employer 2017

-Top Workplace Award 2017

- "Top Employer 2018"
-GHAC "Excellent Supplier 2017"
-FAW-VW "Excellent Partners 2017"
-WDHAC "VAVE Excellent Supplier 2017"


-The Company is planning to achieve sales of EUR 5 billion by 2020.

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
Overall 233 220 205
Gross in % of sales 6.6 6.9 7.0


ーWebasto Group announced to acquire AeroVironment’s efficient energy systems (EES) business segment for USD 35 million. Webasto will retain all existing EES employees, while strengthening its long-term E-mobility strategy. Webasto’s acquisition of AeroVironment’s EES business segment contributes to the company’s dual strategy. With this strategy Webasto strengthens its existing core business areas in sunroofs, convertibles and thermo systems and participate in new business areas, focusing on battery systems and plug-in electric vehicle charging solutions. (From a press release on June 4, 2018)

-The Company announced that Webasto SE has concluded a further strategic acquisition and has taken over the majority of the employees of CoSyst Control Systems GmbH, which is headquartered in Nuremburg. The approximately 50 employees of the company, which specializes in hardware and software development for the automotive industry, therefore become part of the Webasto Group. Webasto is further strengthening its systems expertise with this renewed expansion of its expertise in the field of electronics. (From a press release on August 2, 2017)

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
Overall 176 150 160
% of sales 5.0 4.7 5.4

Investments Outside Germany

-The Company informed that it will be investing EUR 600 million in the strategic development of Webasto over the coming three years. This will advance dual strategy of ‘strengthening & participating’, which will allow it to strengthen core fields of business and open up new segments. An important focus will be the expansion of new fields of business for the electromobility market. Webasto also has more than 60 orders for high-voltage heaters for hybrid and electric vehicle from manufacturers worldwide - interest is particularly high in China. Production is therefore being expanded at our Neubrandenburg site and a new production facility will be created in the Chinese City of Wuhan by the end of 2019. (From a press release on May 14, 2018)