TRELLEBORG, Sweden—After two years of following an aggressive acquisition strategy, Trelleborg is looking to settle down in 2017: consolidating around its new market positioning and exploiting its most advanced manufacturing and product technologies.
For Trelleborg, CEO Peter Nilsson said, 2016 was an exceptional year considering its large number of acquisitions, particularly Czech CGS/Mitas—now part of Trelleborg Wheel Systems.
"We will continue to scout for strategically attractive acquisitions, however the number and magnitude of acquisitions made in 2016 will not be the new normal," Nilsson said. "Our main focus will always be organic growth."
Trelleborg will, for instance, be "investing heavily" to leverage the substantial growth potential of digital technology when markets recover, said Nilsson. This includes smart technologies, such as devices with built-in sensors, tracking systems and seamless order-to-deliver systems, that "make life easier and increase value for customer."
As an example, Nilsson cited the soon-to-launch Variable Inflation Pressure technology, which Trelleborg has developed in partnership with tractor manufacturer AGCO Fendt. The autonomous wheel can self-adjust the pressure of a combine harvester's tires according to its load during operation and so optimise tire-footprint and reduce soil compaction.
However, Nilsson's to-do list also includes more weighty matters, not least completing the integration of businesses bought during 2015-16 – a process that will involve a shift to focus on certain segments, particularly agricultural tires and anti-vibration systems for mass-transport.