Knorr-Bremse AG Business Report FY2010

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(In million euros) FY2010 FY2009 Rate of change Factors
Sales 3,712 2,761 34.4
Net Income 239 99 141.4  
Sales result for Commercial Vehicle Systems 1,701 1,222 39.2 1)

-In 2010 the Commercial Vehicle Systems division benefitted from the increasing pace of recovery of the commercial vehicle markets, posting sales of EUR 、1,700.7 million (2009: EUR 1,221.5 million). One major focus of commercial vehicle activities in 2010 was on expansion in China. Despite the rise in activity in the commercial vehicle sector, however, in 2010 the markets in Europe and North America remained well below their pre-crisis level.

-Following a dramatic slump the previous year, the Company's Commercial Vehicle Systems posted significantly higher sales in all markets in 2010. Truck production in China rose by 47%, and in North America the ongoing decline since 2006 was halted. In addition, the proportion of trucks produced in Western Europe grew by 60% to 320,000 units. After increasing capacity in line with this trend, the Commercial Vehicle Systems division was able to benefit disproportionately from this new growth.

Joint Ventures

-The Company and the Chinese manufacturer Chongqing CAFF Automotive Braking & Steering Systems Co. Ltd. have founded a joint venture for the production of commercial vehicle brake system and powertrain components. Knorr-Bremse holds a 66 percent stake in Knorr-Bremse CAFF Systems for Commercial Vehicles Chongqing Ltd., as the joint venture is known, with the remaining 34 percent being held by its Chinese partner. The joint venture is to manufacture brake components such as air dryers and valves, as well as transmission and clutch control components. The entire production process, from manufacture of the diecast aluminum parts to machining, surface treatment and assembly will take place at a single location. (From a press release on January 20, 2011)


R&D Expenditure

  FY2010 FY2009 FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
(In Million Euro) 175 153 171 159 141

-In line with the Company‘s regional strategy, in 2010 the proportion of the Group‘s development capacity located in emerging markets such as India and China was again increased. At year-end 2010, the Knorr-Bremse Group employed a worldwide total of 1,999 people in the field of research, development and project planning (2009: 1,885).

Product developments

 Screw compressor for hybrid buses
-The Company began series production of screw compressors for hybrid buses in spring 2010. The new design of compressor is to be installed in the 5,000 Volvo buses ordered as part of London’s fleet renewal program, some of which is due to be completed in time for the 2012 Olympic Games. In addition to supplying Volvo, the Company has also launched similar projects with other commercial vehicle manufacturers. Screw compressors are capable of producing large volumes of compressed air, using two synchronous counter-rotating screws with a large inlet valve and smaller outlet valve. Unlike conventional compressors, they are not powered by the vehicle engine but by their own electric motor. They are low-vibration and quiet in operation.

New lightweight disc brakes
-The Company continues to develop its portfolio of pneumatic disc brake products with a view to covering as wide a range of vehicle applications as possible while at the same time catering for regional differences. The company’s latest disc brake is much lighter, and can reduce the overall weight of a truckset by up to 100 kilos, saving fuel and cutting emissions without compromising safety.

AEBS automatic emergency braking system
-The Company continued to develop the AEBS automatic emergency braking system for commercial vehicles. At the 2010 IAA Commercial Vehicles it gave an impressive demonstration of the system during a special session on hazardous goods transportation organized by the German Association of the Automotive Industry VDA.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System
-The Company launched the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in the European market.

Production of brake pad retaining system
-The Company launched production of the new brake pad retaining system with ProTecS. This replaces the system used hitherto on air disc brakes SN6, SK7 and SN7 and can be used on all applications. What is new is the use of a welding point to connect the spring and brake pad.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditures by Division

(Euro in million) FY2010 FY2009 FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
Commercial Vehicle Systems 50.4
33.4 64.2 72.3 69.5
Rail Vehicle Systems 61.2
66.6 65.8 67.9 36.8


Overseas Investment

-June 2010 the Company held the official opening of a new Commercial Vehicle Systems plant in Liberec (Czech Republic). As a value stream factory, like the Budapest plant this new facility too permits the KPS-based implementation of advanced production and logistics concepts. In Liberec, the Company manufactures commercial vehicle braking system components such as brake cylinders and clutch servo units, foot- and handbrake valves, and air dryer cartridges. When the transfer of operations had been completed, the former production facility in Hejnice was closed down.

-The Company has acquired the remaining shares in Knorr-Bremse Systems for Commercial Vehicles India Private Ltd., the former joint venture with Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd of India. (From a press release on March 25, 2010) The Company has opened a new Commercial Vehicle Systems plant in Liberec, Czech Republic. This facility, which replaces the previous plant in Hejnice, engages in the production of components such as brake cylinders and clutch boosters, foot brake and hand brake valves and filter cartridges. (From a press release on June 9, 2010)