Schwarzmüller: Dark Horse

From the June 2017 issue.

Austrian brand Schwarzmüller is one of the fastest growing names in European trailer manufacturing. Buoyed by 10 per cent plus in revenue in 2016, the OEM has now announced an ambitious growth plan for the year ahead.

Global Trailer’s much talked-about Global OEM Ranking, unveiled as part of the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show, not only challenged the traditional notion of trailer manufacturing as a highly fragmented, regionally confined industry, but also brought attention to an array of businesses that have grown to fame outside the media spotlight.

Austrian family business, Schwarzmüller, is one such company. Originally founded in the late 19th century as a forge and still based in a sleepy 1,500-people village halfway between Munich and Vienna, it has grown from local hero to trans-European trust by steadily adding production capacity and updating manufacturing processes over the course of half a century.

Despite the planned departure of ex-Chief Executive Jan Willem Jongert early last year, the company’s three main manufacturing sites’ output increased 13.7 per cent to 8,866 units in 2016, generating total revenues of  €342 million. In 2017, new CEO Roland Hartwig says the company will once again experience double-digit growth, with a goal of €380 million in revenues and some 9,500 vehicles manufactured. Global Trailer met one of the industry’s most ambitious executives to find out why Schwarzmüller is the ‘dark horse’ of European trailer building.

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