Knorr-Bremse AG Business Report FY ended Dec. 2015

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 5,830.6 5,206.0 12.0 1)
Net Income 644.8 560.0 15.1 -
Commercial Vehicle Systems
Sales 2,491.8 2,227.7 11.9 2)

1) Net Sales
-The Company’s net sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 increased by 12.0% over the previous year to EUR 5,830.6 million. Excluding foreign currency exchange effects, the Company’s sales grew by approximately 3.5%. The Rail Vehicle Systems division had growth in Europe, North and South America, and the Asia/Australia region, while the Commercial Vehicle Systems had rising sales in Europe, North America, and the Asia/Australia region.

2) Commercial Vehicle Systems sales
-In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, the Company’s Commercial Vehicle Systems sales increased by 11.9% over the previous year to EUR 2,491.8 million. Sales in Europe increased due to demand for disc brakes and electronic braking systems. In North America, sales of the Company’s remanufacturing business and Electronic Stability Programs experienced gains. These gains were offset by the economic crisis in South America, which lead to decreased output and fewer development projects.

Joint Ventures

-The Company’s joint venture with Dongfeng Electronic & Technology Co., Ltd., called Knorr-Bremse DETC Commercial Vehicle Braking Technology Co., Ltd., began production in 2015. The joint venture initially manufactured ABS systems and mechanical components such as brake valves and brake pressure control valves. In the future, the joint venture’s production portfolio will expand to include braking systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and exhaust brake components.


-Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a subsidiary of the Company, announced that its SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been added as a factory-installed option on Freightliner Trucks' Cascadia and Cascadia Evolution models. SmarTire TPMS shows real-time pressure and temperature status on a dash display, instantly informing the driver if there is a tire problem on the road. The sensor is mounted inside of the tire on the wheel to capture accurate tire temperature and pressure information and to protect the sensor from damage. (From a press release on March 25, 2015)

-In 2015, the Company was able to secure the following contracts with various European commercial vehicle manufacturers:

  • Agreement until 2021 for electronics and screw-type compressors
  • Agreement until 2020 for engine flap valves
  • Agreement until 2022 for clutch-type compressors and electro-pneumatic parking brakes
  • Various other agreements for brake control systems, wheel-end systems, and driver assistance systems.


-The Company is expecting sales to slightly decline in the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016.

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
Total 347.3 295.5 252.5
% of Sales 6.0 5.7 5.9

R&D Facilities

-The Company announced that it is currently investing approximately EUR 90 million in a new Development Center in Munich, Germany that will open at the end of 2015. (From a press release on June 29, 2015)

Product developments

Driver assist systems
-Due to regulations making Autonomous Emergency Brake Systems (AEBS) and Lane Departure Warning Systems (LDWS) mandatory in new European commercial vehicles by the fall of 2015, the Company focused on the development of these two systems for the start of series production.

Single-cylinder compressor
-The Company continued development of a single-cylinder compressor with an aluminum casing. The casing provides weight savings of approximately 40% compared to a compressor without an aluminum casing.

Energy Saving System (ESS)
-The Company continued development of its Energy Saving System and focused on reducing energy uptake and oil contamination in order to start series production of the system in 2016.

Screw-type compressor
-The Company continued development to enhance its screw-type compressor for hybrid and electric buses. The compressor’s low-noise profile makes it ideal for use in electric drive vehicles. In addition, the compressor can be driven by recuperated brake energy to reduce fuel consumption.

Capital Expenditures

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
Commercial Vehicle Systems 81.1 57.7 67.3
Rail Vehicle Systems 117.6 93.7 84.0
Other 11.5 9.2 8.2
Overall 210.2 160.6 159.5

-The Company’s investments in 2015 have focused primarily on property and equipment for the new Test and Development Center in Munich, Germany, and infrastructure for its Rail Vehicle Systems facility in South Africa.

Investments in Germany

-The Company will invest approximately EUR 100 million in infrastructure at the Munich site by 2017. The Company has invested more than EUR 1 billion in its manufacturing and production facilities worldwide over the last five years. The long-term concept for expanding systems expertise at the Munich site, which began over ten years ago, involves grouping facilities in the north part of the site in order to leverage synergies and enhance cross-divisional communication. At the same time, the plans envision the transfer of the production and assembly activities and production services of the Rail Vehicle Systems division from Munich to other locations by mid-2017. The planned measures at the Munich site currently foresee 302 jobs being relocated to other manufacturing sites in Berlin, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; and Suzhou and Nankou, China. (From a press release on June 29, 2015)