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Schaeffler Group

Message from the Shareholders

As a listed company and a family business, for which we bear responsibility as family shareholders, Schaeffler successfully rose to the challenges that emerged during the year 2016. The Schaeffler Group continued on its path of growth despite further increasing competition and complex economic, technological, social and geopolitical conditions. Thanks to another year of strong Automotive business, total revenue increased to 13.3 billion euros. The Industrial Division, however, continued to operate in the face of a difficult market environment, which necessitated the implementation of additional measures as part of our “CORE” program. Aimed at further streamlining the industrial business structures and reducing production and administrative costs, these were applied in an effort to sustainably improve the results of the entire Industrial division.

Our deeply committed employees and the close proximity to our customers are two of the key success factors for our company. To this end, Schaeffler once again invested both in existing and new locations around the world during the past year. Enabling us to further expand our capacities and delivery performance, we enlarged our plants in the U.S. and China, opened a new plant in Thailand, established a new office in Moscow, inaugurated our logistics center in Italy and started construction work on our new central warehouse in Kitzingen, Germany.

Following in-depth consultations with management and the Supervisory Board, the Executive Board finalized our “Mobility for tomorrow” strategy as a long-term approach to addressing the major challenges and opportunities facing our company. In the tradition of a family business, a strong foundation of values is part of our corporate culture, which we have summarized in four core values: sustainable, innovative, excellent, and passionate.

Being family shareholders, everything we do is determined by long-term entrepreneurial thinking. E-Mobility, Industry 4.0 and Digitalization are areas signifying substantial technological, social and economic changes and will create new opportunities for future growth. We have already taken major steps to actively shape this development. In late 2016, Schaeffler acquired 51 percent of the shares of electric motor manufacturer Compact Dynamics as a move to expand its expertise in electric mobility. Furthermore, the “Digital Agenda” was adopted in the middle of last year, and the strategic partnership with IBM marked the beginning of the company’s digital transformation. It was with this in mind that "Digitalization – A Key Opportunity for the Future" was chosen as the theme for the 2016 annual report. We want to demonstrate exactly what Schaeffler is doing to make Products & Services, Machines & Processes, Analyses & Simulation, as well as User Experience & Customer Value even smarter, thereby generating added value for our customers.

“As a leader in technology, we combine a passion for innovation with the highest standards of quality to shape the future of mobility – for a world that will be cleaner, safer and smarter.” This philosophy of the Schaeffler Group is put into practice by our approximately 86,000 employees worldwide. Their knowledge, commitment, creativity and high level of identification with the company make a decisive contribution to Schaeffler’s success. We would therefore like to express our sincere thanks to all our employees, as well as to our customers, suppliers, service providers and research partners for their continued trust and cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann

Georg F. W. Schaeffler

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