Freudenberg Sealing Technologies CEO: Suppliers Must Transform to Survive in Era of New Mobility

Claus Moehlenkamp, CEO of XALT’s newest investor, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, recently gave a presentation at the 2018 Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars (CAR MBS) conference in Traverse City, MI. His message is that in today’s evolving automotive industry, suppliers who are not prepared to embrace new mobility options may not survive in the long run.

“we want to provide made-to-order products for nearly all the components of an electric vehicle,” Moehlenkamp said. To achieve this, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) has reorganized itself internally and begun pursuing system and module capabilities in lithium-ion battery and fuel cell technologies through new external partnerships. FST’s analysis revealed that growing e-mobility and fuel cell opportunities existed outside of the traditional automotive applications. To capitalize on these opportunities, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has taken bold steps, Moehlenkamp said, including the formation of a new division that is anchored by two recent acquisitions.

FST’s new Battery and Fuel Cell Division will pursue e-mobility and fuel cell opportunities in the commercial truck and bus, marine and energy industries, among others, Moehlenkamp revealed. In support of this work, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has acquired the Munich, Germany-based fuel cell system manufacturer Elcore, and a significant interest in Midland, Mich., U.S.-based XALT Energy, a renowned developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery cells, power electronics and battery management systems.

“Elcore and XALT are crucial to our strategy of strengthening our current portfolio, investing in electrified technologies and building our business with strategic merger and acquisition opportunities,” Moehlenkamp said. “With the additions, we have grown our expertise and module capabilities in lithium-ion battery and fuel cell systems.

“We will continue to consider merger and acquisition opportunities that support this strategy and help our company grow and capture market share,” the CEO added.

The addition of Elcore and XALT bring new research and development and manufacturing facilities, as well as people, to Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. The companies also bring additional important industry partners like ABB in the marine and New Flyer in the electric bus and Bosch in the stationary energy industries to the relationship.

“Our strength as a collective global industrial organization is instrumental to our future,” Moehlenkamp said. “Our founding business principles, our family legacy, our ability to tap the knowledge and expertise of 48,000 employees located in 60 countries, are remarkable strategic advantages that bode well for our long-term sustainability and success.”

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