DAMME, Germany—Automotive vibration control components manufacturer Boge Rubber & Plastics is diversifying its target markets and products in response to the weak automotive environment.
The Damme-based manufacturer, owned by Chinese CRRC Group, reported a 15.6 percent year-on-year decline in annual sales to $795 million in 2020, corresponding with automotive production decline that year.
"Since Boge has been part of CRRC (2014), we have definitely had the greatest challenges to overcome this year," CEO Torsten Bremer said in a recent statement.
To cushion the car manufacturing decline, Bremer said the company is now looking into diversifying into non-automotive industries.
This is particularly applicable for the agricultural machinery sector, which according to Bremer is "very strongly represented" in the vicinity of Boge's headquarters in Damme.
Boge, he said, can offer vibration damping for large booms or vibration control elements with integrated sensors.
The company also is seeing early success in the marine sector.
Here, the manufacturer has developed "a complex double-cardanic coupling system" in cooperation with the Lux Werft, which allows higher torques to be transmitted while reducing weight and increasing service life.
In the automotive sector, Boge said it had developed new high-performance flexible couplings with a compact standard design, for which it has received a "major order" in the passenger car original equipment market.
In terms of future drive concepts and electromobility, Boge said it had received "strategically significant new orders from renowned car manufacturers for key platforms of future drive concepts, i.e. battery-electric as well as plug-in hybrid vehicles."
Boge's range of electromobility systems covers a broad range including engine and chassis mounts, battery housings, ultra-light transmission mount modules and lightweight electric brake pedals.
Furthermore, the company said its new product segment "plastic components and modules in the engine compartment" is picking up speed with a number of new orders at the Damme location.
Over the course of 2020, Boge said it significantly expanded production capacity at its sites in San Luis Potosí, Mexico and Trnava, Slovakia, and acquired "a large number of new projects" within both locations.
In addition, the company is planning to invest $33 million in 2021, mainly in its plants in Germany, Slovakia and China.
Depending on the pandemic, ongoing disruptions in the supply chain, bottlenecks in the supply of components and raw materials as well as the limited availability of overseas shipping containers, Bremer said he expected a "low double-digit percentage" increase in sales in 2021.