- Automotive Aftermarket business strengthened: Automotive Aftermarket set up as third stand-alone division
- Close to the customer due to approx. 2,200 customers and over 55 sales offices and branches worldwide
- Construction of an integrated European assembly and packaging center
Customers and products
Being one of the leading development partners to the global automotive sector, the Schaeffler Group can tap into decades of experience in the Aftermarket business and stands for groundbreaking innovations. Whether for passenger cars, light and heavy commercial vehicles, or tractors – the new Automotive Aftermarket division offers tailored solutions for transmission, engine, and chassis systems for all vehicle classes and models in original-equipment quality.
Setting up the Automotive Aftermarket as a separate division of the Schaeffler Group reflects the increased significance of the Automotive Aftermarket business to the company. The management model of the new division follows a regional approach based on the regions Europe, Americas, Greater China, and Asia/Pacific.
Within each region, the division uses two distribution channels to sell its products and services: the Original Equipment Service (OES) and the open (independent) market, known as the Independent Aftermarket (IAM). The OES comprises the automobile manufacturers’ spare parts business, that is, supplying original spare parts and services to branded repair shops, i.e. those that are authorized by automobile manufacturers. IAM, on the other hand, supplies independent repair shops that are not tied to any one vehicle brand with spare parts and services via the relevant distribution levels. IAM differentiates between two types of business. In addition to the traditional component business consisting of replacing parts, the service business provides repair sets and kits custom-assembled to help make vehicle repairs simple, efficient, and professional.
Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket customers mainly include almost all major international and national trading companies which in turn supply Schaeffler products to other distribution levels all the way down to the repair shop. In addition, the division cooperates with all international and national trade cooperatives in which a large number of its customers are organized.
Like the Automotive OEM and Industrial divisions, the Automotive Aftermarket division operates under the Schaeffler corporate brand. The comprehensive Aftermarket product range includes products and repair solutions for engine, transmission, and chassis applications, such as timing drives, clutch and clutch release systems, or wheel bearings, that are distributed using the four product brands LuK, INA, FAG, and Ruville. All components are optimally tuned to work together and allow for fast and professional replacement.
The division assists repair shops in professional clutch repairs with its LuK RepSet family. The product range also includes the complete hydraulic clutch release system, the dual-mass flywheel, as well as professional repair solutions for commercial vehicles and tractors.
Under its INA brand, Schaeffler offers know-how across the four key systems in an engine: The product portfolio of the full-range supplier comprises components for the timing drive (for both belt- and chain-driven vehicles), the front end auxiliary drive, the valve train, and the cooling system. The replacement parts program consists of individual products as well as solutions provided in the form of innovative kits and sets.
Schaeffler’s FAG brand supplies what it takes to make replacing wheel bearings seamless. Its reliable wheel bearings and innovative repair solutions range from the classic wheel bearing set, the FAG WheelSet, and the FAG WheelPro (for replacing the wheel bearings of both wheels of an axle) through to wheel bearing repair solutions for light commercial vehicles and pre-assembled wheel bearing units for heavy commercial vehicles, such as the FAG RIU (Repair Insert Unit) and the FAG SmartSET.
Being a specialist for chassis and steering parts, the Automotive Aftermarket division develops intelligent repair solutions and kits for all common European and Asian vehicle models, tailored to suit market needs and requirements. All of them include all replacement and accessory parts required for professional installation.
Increasingly complex vehicle applications and the large number of new vehicle models are constantly confronting vehicle professionals with challenging repair situations. The Automotive Aftermarket division’s REPXPERT offers comprehensive services covering every aspect of its products and repair solutions. Whether they utilize the web portal, service hotline, installation guides and videos, training seminars and events, or tools tailor-made for professional repairs – repair shops benefit from the Schaeffler Group's over 40 years of experience in the Automotive Aftermarket. In addition to its own services, the Automotive Aftermarket division has also co-founded important service initiatives with industry partners, a significant contribution to keeping repair shops and distributors well informed. These initiatives include TecAlliance, a company providing solutions for electronic catalog data, inventory management, and digitalization, as well as the telematics platform CARUSO.
The ever growing vehicle population, rising average vehicle age, and increasing vehicle complexity provide tremendous opportunities for growth in the division’s replacement parts business. According to research institution IHS (February 2018), the worldwide vehicle population will grow from approx. 1.3 billion in 2017 to approx. 1.6 billion in 2022, and the average vehicle age will increase from approx. 9.5 years to approx. 9.8 years. As the most significant increase for both parameters is expected in the Greater China region, the division considers this region to hold a high potential for future growth. Although the move toward new drive technologies will only have a very minor impact on the Aftermarket business over the next 10 years, the Automotive Aftermarket division is already preparing for future demands. Networking with the Automotive OEM division within the Schaeffler Group is key to this preparation.
Key growth drivers
The division aims to generate annual revenue growth averaging approx. 3% in the coming years – based on technical excellence, intelligent solutions, and outstanding services, as well as a consistently global operation. The Greater China and Asia/Pacific regions are driving the division’s growth. Another focus is on maintaining the high degree of coverage provided by the division’s product and service portfolio as well as on further improvements regarding availability and customer loyalty. Digitalization is also becoming a focus of the Automotive Aftermarket’s attention. Working with other disciplines from across the group, the division will develop repair solutions and services that make repair shops ready for the future.
In order to secure opportunities for growth and to considerably expand customer and delivery service, the division plans to realize a highly automated logistics location in Saxony-Anhalt near Halle/Saale, whose capacity can be adjusted flexibly; the facility is slated for commissioning in the first quarter of 2020. The project will establish a state-of-the-art integrated European assembly and packaging center known as Aftermarket Kitting Operation (AKO). The AKO is part of the “Agenda 4 plus One”. This logistical structure will be implemented in additional regions beyond Europe as well. The company is planning AKOs in North America, Asia/Pacific, and China, and there is already an AKO in operation in South America. Implementing the AKOs is an important step toward further improving the delivery performance of the Automotive Aftermarket division in order to generate maximum customer satisfaction in the long-term.