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THE BIG GERMAN PLAYERS CONTINUE THEIR RECORD OF SUCCESS IN 2016.
For the sixth time, Berylls Strategy Advisors is analyzing the international top 100 automotive suppliers and providing information about their ranking, revenues and operating income (EBIT) for 2015 and 2016.
2016 was another record year for the entire automotive supplier industry. And a glance at the figures by the 100 biggest suppliers paints a picture of extensive continuity. Thus, the upward economic trend continues in 2016 with revenue growth of six percent and a return of eight percent. German and other European suppliers can welcome the fact that the trend shows that, once again, they are outpacing the competition in Japan and the USA.
You can find the complete study as a pdf download at the end of the article – together with the Top 100 list, analyses of individual countries and companies, as well as outlooks and forecasts about how the supplier industry will continue to develop.
BOSCH AND CONTINENTAL ARE THE LEADERS ONCE AGAIN.
As in the previous year, the German automotive suppliers continued to pull ahead. With cumulative revenues of EUR 186 billion (+7.4 percent compared to the previous year), the 17 biggest German automotive suppliers in the global Top 100 achieved a record result once again.
Bosch (first place) and Continental (second place) strengthened their position at the top unchallenged. In 2016, both Bosch and Conti were able to further increase their revenue, however EBIT shifted into reverse gear at first because of the high overheads for R&D.
It is particularly interesting to look at the factors that are important for the future: patent applications in the last years. For the field of “autonomous driving,” it is not the widely heralded digital titans from Silicon Valley who are ahead, but Bosch with 545 patents, followed by Audi with 292 and Conti with 277 patent applications.
As in past years, the biggest supplier group in the Top 100 comes from Japan. Japanese suppliers, with 31 companies and heavyweights such as Denso, Aisin and Bridgestone, form the biggest group on the list, with total sales of EUR 237 billion.
With overall sales at the level of EUR 138 billion (21 companies in the Top 100), the USA takes third place after Japan and Germany. Europe, too, (excluding Germany) shows impressive performance: the growth of the 18 European automotive suppliers from Spain, Italy, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, at 18.9 percent, lies clearly above the world average: they achieve EUR 150 billion sales in 2016. The main reason is the first-time consolidation of the Johnson Controls spin-off Adient, which is legally domiciled in Ireland.
THE MEGATREND IS WELL UNDERWAY.
Despite all the positive news and results, particularly for German and European suppliers, the analysis of the Top 100 also shows a latent negative development. 2016 could not match the record growth of the previous year. Instead of the 14 percent in the previous year, growth in 2016 was only six percent.
But how should we rate this muted growth? As an “isolated” event? Or as a first sign of a fundamental trend reversal? Has the point already arrived when manufacturers of traditional components are losing their importance?
“In 2022, 2024, or not until much later?” There are very different answers to the question about the tipping point for conventional combustion engines, i.e. the time at which no more growth in volumes is to be expected. However, the fact is that the megatrend towards new technologies and e-Mobility is well underway.
Many of the Top 100 German automotive suppliers represented have already responded and repositioned themselves strategically through external purchases or by splitting off traditional parts of the company.
AMERICANS ARE STREAMLINING THEIR PORTFOLIOS.
Many US companies, such as Delphi or Johnson Controls, can be described as leaders in the transformation of the supplier industry. For years, they have rigorously scoured their product portfolios for non-viable areas, and radically divested them if the signals for these areas show red for reasons of growth or profitability.
A first tentative sign of whether this strategy by the Americans really leads to success can be confirmed by a national comparison with the Europeans: On average, the US suppliers actually did achieve higher profitability than the Europeans in 2016.
TOP 100 SUPPLIERS: READY FOR THE FUTURE.
So what will come after ignition plugs, pistons, connecting rods and clutch disks? The Berylls study “Top 100 of the global suppliers” shows which companies are already stable and have occupied sustainable future fields – and which are making the move with mergers and acquisitions. The market is in tumult. The list will be the same, including large swings upward and downward.
The study shows that the automotive industry, with its diversity of “topics,” technologies, services and with its huge social relevance has a unique opportunity to be at the cutting edge of the transformation and of digital change. Most automotive suppliers are ideally positioned for this.
DR. JAN DANNENBERG