SAF-Holland Group is striving to implement its future plans with strong global partners.
SAF-Holland Keeps Growing Via Global Acquisitions
With acquisitions, SAF-Holland is taking the next steps to implement its 2020 growth strategy, following global megatrends, expanding its aftermarket business, entering new markets, but also strengthening its market position in core regions and expanding its position globally. To achieve these goals, the companies in the SAF- Holland Group are combining their strengths and exploiting their synergies. “The Group is constantly expanding its expertise, whether regionally or in specific areas of business. We are therefore well placed for the future and are concentrating on implementing our 2020 growth strategy,” says Detlef Borghardt, CEO of SAF-Holland.
In 2018, SAF-Holland acquired V.Orlandi SpA – an Italian manufacturer of coupling systems for trucks, trailers and commercial agricultural vehicles – to expand its specialist business in coupling systems and components. The acquisition strengthened the commercial vehicle supplier’s position as number two for fifth wheels in the European market and expanded its business to include couplings and drawbar eyes for trailers as well as adding specialised commercial vehicles, such as for industry, agriculture, forestry and mining. SAF-Holland also benefits from V.Orlandi’s strong spare-parts and accessories business, which fits perfectly with its own aftermarket activities.
At almost the same time, SAF-Holland acquired York Transport Equipment (Asia) Pte Ltd, the supplier of trailer axle and suspension systems. The acquisition sees the Group quickly expanding its market position in the rapidly growing transport markets of the APAC region and India. In the future, York would give the commercial vehicle specialist a significant presence in emerging Southeast Asian markets such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam as well as Australia.
“This acquisition positions us early on for the foreseeable transition in these countries to technologically more sophisticated solutions,” says Borghardt, who sees great potential in the move.
Digital trailer management expertise
To expand its digital expertise, SAF-Holland recently acquired Axscend Ltd, the British telematics and connectivity specialist. The commercial vehicle supplier is thereby bringing technical expertise in software and programming into the Group and setting the course for the future – for a trailer that could be managed holistically.
Taking the lead with suspension systems, the acquisition of Brazilian specialist, KLL Equipamentos para Transporte Ltda added mechanical suspension systems to SAF-Holland’s technology portfolio in 2016. In addition to taking the lead in air suspension systems for buses, the commercial vehicle supplier gained direct access to key customers for its truck products. Borghardt believes the market is very attractive: “By acquiring KLL, we have invested in development of the largest transport market in South America and are significantly expanding our position in Brazil.”
As long ago as 2013, SAF-Holland acquired the bus suspension expert, Corpco Beijing Technology and Development Co Ltd, with the goal of strengthening its market position in China. Further stated goals included continuously improving the product portfolio of both companies for the Chinese market and developing new technologies. The combination of the two dense spare-parts networks of SAF-Holland and Corpco was seen as a big plus.