Webasto SE Business Report FY ended Dec. 2018

Recent Years

Financial Overview

-In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, the Company’s net sales totaled EUR 3,433 million, a decrease of 2.2% from the previous year. Negative currency exchange rate effects had a significant impact on the Company’s sales during the 2018 fiscal year.

-The Company’s roof systems product group comprised 82% of the Company’s total sales in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018. The heating and cooling product group accounted for 17%, and batteries and charging solutions accounted for 1% of total sales.


-The Company announced that it will acquire AeroVironment’s efficient energy systems (EES) business segment for USD 35 million. The Company will retain all existing EES employees, while strengthening its long-term E-mobility strategy. The acquisition contributes to the Company’s dual strategy of strengthening its existing core business areas in sunroofs, convertibles and thermo systems while participating in new business areas such as battery systems and plug-in electric vehicle charging solutions. (From a press release on June 4, 2018)

Business Partnership

-The Company and Wanxiang A123 signed a strategic agreement at the Company’s regional headquarters in Shanghai. The first joint project between the companies is the development and production of a battery module, which will be integrated into the Company’s standard battery system for commercial vehicles for the Chinese market. The battery modules from Wanxiang A123 contain high-quality NCM battery cells. They allow optimum space utilization, possess high energy density and guarantee maximum safety. The Company uses its competence in the fields of system integration and thermal management to feature these cells in a battery system with outstanding performance and reliability. The Company’s standard battery system for commercial vehicles features a modular design, which shortens the development process, such that even small quantities can be produced cost-efficiently. (From a press release on November 27, 2018)

-The Company and WhisperPower announced that they have entered into a global distribution partnership agreement, which was driven by the Company to add electrical power products and systems to their product offering and the ambition of WhisperPower to rapidly expand their global distribution. The strategic collaboration with WhisperPower, an electrical power specialist, is in line with the Company’s aim to become a key player in the e-mobility market. The Company has expanded into e-mobility products and solutions in three specific areas: Heating solutions for all kind of drive types to enhance battery performance and cabin heating, the engineering and assembly of high quality design-to-cost battery systems and charging solutions and services to fulfill the needs of private and semi-public customers. (From a press release on March 27, 2018)

-The Company and Samsung SDI have come to an agreement about future cooperation. The letter of intent was signed by representatives from both companies at the Company’s headquarters in Stockdorf and envisages collaboration in the manufacture of high voltage batteries for the commercial vehicle sector. The agreement covers the development and supply of a Samsung SDI's battery module that is the optimized solution for the Company’s standard multi-pack concept for commercial vehicles. (From a press release on March 13, 2018)


-Awards the Company has recently received include the following:

  • BMW Supplier Innovation Award 2018 under the Efficient Dynamics category for the roof concept of the BMW i8 Roadster
  • General Motors Supplier Quality Excellence Award 2017 for the Company’s plant in Venaria, Italy
  • Jaguar Land Rover Quality Award 2017 for the Company’s plant in Hengersberg, Germany
  • KGK Knutsson Supplier Award 2017 for the Company’s plant in Sweden


  • FCA Innovation Supplier of the Year 2018 for the Company’s Webasto Convertibles subsidiary
  • General Motors Supplier Quality Excellence Award 2017 for the Company’s plant in Plymouth, Michigan, U.S.


  • Changan Auto Supplier of the Year 2017 award for the Company’s facility in Chongqing, China.
  • SAIC-GM 2017 Best Technology Supplier award
  • Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor Excellent Supplier of 2017 award
  • FAW-VW 2017 Excellent Development Supplier award
  • Changan-Ford Annual Top Supplier Award 2017 for the Company’s plant in Chongqing, China
  • GAC-Fiat 2017 Excellent Delivery Supplier award for the Company’s plant in Wuhan, China
  • Guangqi Honda Excellent Supplier 2017 award for the Company’s plant in Guangzhou, China
  • FAW-VW Excellent Partners 2017 award for the Company’s plant in Changchun, China


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

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016
Overall 271 233 220
Gross in % of sales 7.9 6.6 6.9

-The Company’s investment in research and development in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 was EUR 271 million, an increase of 16.3% over the previous year. The Company’s primary focus in research and development is on electromobility, mechatronics and advanced engineering.

R&D Facilities

ーOn May 14, 2018, the Company celebrated the opening of its new administration and R&D Center in Stockdorf, Germany. The new building has more than 14,000 square meters of floor space and a 5,000-square-meter glass facade that incorporates a shed roof, reflecting the Company’s core business sector of roofs. The center will employ 550 workers. The Company has invested approximately EUR 40 million in the building. (From a press release on May 15, 2018)

Product Development

Technologies showcased at eMove360°
ーThe Company will present its comprehensive, global range of charging solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles at the eMove360° exhibition. The Company will highlight two intelligent charging solutions: Webasto Live for the European market and Webasto TurboDX for the American and Asian markets. Both enable flexible networking via the mobile network or via Bluetooth and thus can be controlled via an app. Further connections such as LAN and WLAN enable several charging stations to connect with each other or the integration into existing networks. The associated digital services include remote access via an app, live tracking of all charging processes, reporting of charging data and cost-optimized charging. The Company will also display shows two other solutions for convenient charging: The entry-level charging station Webasto Pure, featuring high-charging performance and maximum safety, and the portable charging solution TurboCord for hybrid and electric vehicles. TurboCord connects directly to the vehicle’s socket and does not require the installation of a charging station. (From a press release on October 16, 2018)

Technologies showcased at 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles
-At the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, the Company is celebrating the world premiere of its flexible and scalable battery system for small commercial vehicles, trucks and buses. A particular advantage of the system is its modular design. The product development process is shortened thanks to the use of standardized modules. This type of design moreover facilitates individual and flexible adaptation to current technological developments and customer-specific requirements. In addition, the corresponding Vehicle Interface Box was developed as an interface between the Company standard battery system and the vehicle. Its purpose is to allow user-defined system configurations and programming to be performed for the battery system. An active thermo management module for the standard battery system is in the conceptual phase. (From a press release on September 19, 2018)

Technologies showcased at Caravan Salon 2018
-The Company will display solutions such as the Webasto Pure charging solution, the High-Voltage Heater and the eThermoTop Eco electric parking heater at the Caravan Salon 2018. Special focus will be given to the space-saving hybrid heating solution, the Cool Top Trail rooftop air-conditioner series, Isotherm refrigerators and proven heating solutions. The Webasto Pure charging station is suitable for all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles with type 2 connectors and has a scalable charging capacity that ranges from 3.7 kW to 22 kW. The eThermoTop Eco is the electric version of the Webasto parking heater that can charge a vehicle’s battery during operation. The compressor technology in the Company’s refrigerators minimizes energy requirements, even at high ambient temperatures. (From a press release on August 22, 2018)

Technologies showcased at Power2Drive Europe trade fair
-The Company will present its high-quality charging solutions for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at the first Power2Drive Europe trade fair in Munich. The entry-level charging station Pure charges with alternating current and is compatible with all electric cars with type-2 plugs, regardless of manufacturer. The charging power can be selected between 11 and 22 kW. No matter the location, the driver can charge the vehicle at any time and up to ten times faster than with a Schuko outlet. The Company also expects to offer a network-compatible charging station by the end of 2018 which can, be controlled via app or networked with other IT systems. (From a press release on June 13, 2018)

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016
Overall 248 176 150
% of sales 7.2 5.0 4.7

-The Company’s capital expenditures have traditionally been used towards expanding its production capacity. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, the Company’s capital expenditure increased by 40.9% to EUR 248 million. The significant increase in capital expenditure was due to the Company’s expansion into new business fields.

-The Company will invest EUR 600 million for strategic development over the next three years. This will advance the Company’s dual strategy of strengthening core fields of business and opening up new segments. An important focus will be the expansion of new fields of business for the electromobility market. The Company has more than 60 orders for high-voltage heaters for hybrid and electric vehicles from manufacturers worldwide, with particularly high interest in China. Thus, the Company is expanding production at its Neubrandenburg site. Furthermore, a new production facility will be created in Wuhan, China by the end of 2019. (From a press release on May 14, 2018)

Investments Outside Germany

-The Company’s subsidiary, Webasto Roof Systems Inc., marked its 20-year anniversary in Lexington, Kentucky with the announcement of a new USD 15.2 million production line. The new line will manufacture high-tech, electronically tintable all-glass panorama roof systems, which include optional tilt-slide sunroofs, for luxury vehicle brands. “Before the end of the year we will launch three completely new sunroofs with two different customers. These launches will continue into next year with increased volumes,” said John Wilder, Webasto Roof Systems plant manager. Webasto Roof Systems is headquartered in Rochester Hills, Michigan, U.S. (From Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development release on August 30, 2018)

-The Company held a ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new plant and the signing of a contract for a battery system research and development center. The new plant will be the Company’s eleventh plant in China and will be built on a 64,000-square-meter site in Jiaxing. According to the Company, the project investment is expected to reach CNY 600 million across two construction phases. The first phase requires an investment of CNY 400 million to develop a 32,000-square-meter plant. The Company aims to complete construction and launch trial operations in 2019. The plant will primarily manufacture high-end panorama roofs for SAIC-GM, SAIC-VW, Geely, Zotye Automobile, NIO Auto, and WM Motors, with an annual production capacity of 1.5 million sets. The Company also plans to build a battery system R&D center in Jiaxing. (From some releases on April 4, 2018)

-The Company has moved into its new, larger plant in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. The Company has manufactured sunroofs in Guangzhou since 2006. The new plant will enable the number of employees to grow from 500 to over 600 while increasing annual production capacity to 1.6 million units to keep up with local demand. The plant’s main customers are joint ventures such as Dongfeng Nissan, FAW-VW and Guangzhou Honda. (From a press release on March 28, 2018)