A duty of care: Kögel

With its commercial vehicles and transport solutions, Kögel has been providing ‘made-in-Germany’ engineering quality for more than 85 years. The trailer manufacturer upholds its responsibility to design transport and logistics processes in an environmentally and climate friendly manner and delivers all-round solutions.

Through its guiding principle ‘Economy meets Ecology – Because we care’, Kögel supports its customers with outstanding expertise, in-depth industry knowledge and durable, lighter weight, ecologically and economically sustainable products.

“Kögel supplies industry with some of the lightest vehicles available in the market today,” said Kögel CEO, Christian Renners. “As per the standard spec, the base weight has reduced by around 1.0 tonnes to just 5.9 tonnes in the space of a decade. As for the light segment, the vehicle tare weight is actually under 5.2 tonnes now.”

Here, lightweight construction is essentially used in all Kögel models – always precisely tailored to the application and requirements of the respective vehicle.

Lightweight construction reduces the weight of the trailer. Vehicles thereby consume considerably less fuel – especially on empty runs – which saves money for forwarders when fuel prices are high in particular. At the same time, lighter vehicles can carry a higher payload. Sometimes, according to Renners, this means customers are even able to reduce the number of additional trips needed.

Combining economic efficiency and sustainability
Sustainable transport solutions are essential for road freight companies to maintain their competitive edge as well as commit to reducing their carbon footprint. “Kögel trailers are a major factor in achieving these ambitious targets,” said Renners. At the same time, the trailer manufacturer from the Bavarian Swabia region has made every effort to ensure the economy doesn’t fall by the wayside – true to its guiding principle.

Kögel supports its customers with exceptional expertise, in-depth industry knowledge and, above all, durable products that are both ecologically and economically sustainable. Kögel supplies innovative transport solutions for every application, whether volume- and payload-sensitive, temperature-controlled transport, or trailers and swap bodies for combined transport or bulk goods.

Kögel Lightplus
With the NOVUM generation trailers including the Kögel Lightplus and Kögel Mega Lightplus, Kögel has been setting standards for many years when it comes to weight-optimised trailers that are used in a wide range of transport sectors.
With the Kögel Mega Lightplus, the Burtenbach-based vehicle manufacturer covers a wide range of tasks. A combination of volume- and payload-optimising features and a wide variety of tailored equipment options make this possible. As a result, Kögel Mega Lightplus is perfectly streamlined for economic efficiency. Another net positive of the volume specialist: The low tare weight of this trailer saves fuel, resulting in reduced carbon emissions.

Kögel EuroTrailer
The extended Kögel EuroTrailer NOVUM semi-trailer also excels in these categories and sets the bar high in relation to climate-friendly transport solutions: It is 1.38 metres longer than conventional trailers and, depending on the body version, offers up to ten cubic metres more volume or up to four additional pallet spaces which is a particularly good volume-to-payload ratio. This results in a substantial reduction in fuel consumption of up to ten percent per pallet transported. The EuroTrailer (the so-called long truck type 1 in Germany) can now be used even more efficiently and economically.

Kögel trailer axle KTA Novum
Not only trailers, but also axles are put to the sustainability test at Kögel. The result: The Kögel Trailer Axle KTA NOVUM. Perfectly matched to the trailers of the NOVUM generation, it combines the best quality premium components with an innovative overall concept and is particularly durable.
Kögel has also shed weight here: Lighter brakes, direct clamping of the axle pipe by the wishbones, and two instead of four guide bolts have made it possible to omit certain components and thereby noticeably reduce the overall weight of the KTA NOVUM compared with the first generation of the Kögel Trailer Axle.

Retrospective 2021: A year of challenges
Despite record vehicle sales of more than 20,000 units, Renners anticipates challenges ahead due to supply bottlenecks in the procurement of important components as well as increasing costs for raw materials. Nevertheless, the OEM is committed to its ambitious investment plans at its Burtenbach site which includes a new administration building and a new SKD loading facility. Also, later this year, a public commercial vehicle workshop will also be established.

Committed to its corporate motto, innovation only prevails if it brings economic benefits to fleet operators. Sustainability must therefore be in harmony with the economy. “This, the OEM asserts, is exemplified by payload-strong and multifunctional trailers,” said Renners.

Most recently, Kögel was awarded the Reputation Winner prize by German business magazine, Focus Money, in the so-called ‘major Germany test’ in the commercial vehicle manufacturer segment. The medium-sized vehicle manufacturer came out on top against well-known companies and groups such as the Kion Group, Scania, Deutz and MAN as well as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, to name but a few. For this purpose, the Institute for Management and Economic Research (IMWF), commissioned by DEUTSCHLAND TEST, examined almost ten million online opinions such as experience reports, customer opinions, comments in social networks on the 14,500 largest companies in Germany and determined from these sources the companies with the best reputation among customers. Focus Money writes: There are five topics that decide a company’s reputation: Management, Sustainability, Product and Service, Performance as an Employer and Profitability.

“This award fills us with great pride and confirms us in our actions,” said Renners.

Honing the sales organisation
In order to further strengthen the company and its flagship, the curtainsider, Kögel has restructured its sales. In the process, sales were divided into the segments of freight forwarding and construction.

In addition to establishing targeted sales segments, Kögel in recent months has also established a new branch in Austria which means the OEM is marketing its own transport solutions without the need for a third party dealer.

This new branch is based in Schärding (Upper Austria). Thomas Dorfer, Head of the Austrian branch, and Roland Mayer, Sales Manager for Austria and Switzerland, are responsible for sales in the Alpine republic. They are supported by an eleven-strong team of proven market experts with 20 years of experience in trailer sales.
“We have adapted Kögel’s sales structure to the demanding needs of the Austrian market and local customers,” said Renners.

By deciding against dealer sales and in favour of direct sales via Kögel’s own field sales force, Kögel is breaking new ground in Austria and emphasising its claim that Kögel focuses on the customer.

“We are thus raising the advisory service to a completely new level and are now also a one-stop shopping contact in Austria,” said Renners.

Dorfer explained that only with direct sales can the OEM meet demanding customer requirements.

“This includes direct and comprehensive advice on the entire transport solution,” he said. “In addition to the trailer, this includes information on value-added services such as trailer telematics, full-service contracts, rental offers, financing solutions, and even used vehicle marketing.”
With this new site in Austria, Kögel aims to double its previous market share in the country.

A one-stop shopping partner for the transport industry
Kögel is increasingly positioning itself as a one-stop shopping partner for the transport industry as it is no longer enough to just sell the trailer. Customers demand all services from a single source, from financing, rental, telematics, and full-service contracts to after-market services and used vehicle recycling.

The telematics and full-service offers in particular, which in combination allow full cost control, are becoming increasingly popular with customers.
Kögel is also successfully expanding its aftermarket offering.

Kögel Original Parts are fast movers in original equipment quality and stand for optimum operating costs and high value retention.

In addition, customers are increasingly buying spare parts online, which is why Kögel has optimized the Online Parts Shop and introduced common payment methods on the Internet as well as online tracking of the delivery.

IAA preview
At the upcoming IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hannover, Germany, Kögel is focusing on sustainable transport solutions that combine economic efficiency and environmental friendliness. In this way, Kögel is also responding to the EU’s ambitious carbon emission reduction plans and will provide customers with the best possible support. The tools include innovative lightweight construction concepts and multimodal trailers.

Kögel has been committed to the optimal combination of transport modes and rail for many years in order to make the best use of the respective advantages. “With the new products we will further increase the attractiveness of rail as a mode of transport,” said Renners. “This is due on the one hand to the excellent dead weight of the vehicles and on the other hand to the simplified handling.”

An outlook for 2022
According to the company boss, the order books are well filled for the whole year. Nevertheless, it will not be an easy year. The war in Ukraine and subsequently rising energy prices, increasing inflation and tightened supply bottlenecks will continue to pose major challenges for any company in the vehicle manufacturing sector. There are and will be further price rounds at all manufacturers.

Kögel supports Ukraine relief convoys
There are times when profitability takes a back seat. The conflict in Ukraine has also greatly affected companies. This was also the case for Kögel and owner Ulrich Humbaur. The entrepreneur from Gersthofen donated 100,000 euros in the name of his companies Humbaur and Kögel to the Bild Hilft e.V. campaign ‘A Heart for Children’ to help the weakest. Kögel also provided curtainsiders and refrigerated vehicles for several aid transports free of charge.

While support for Ukraine has arrived, there is more work to be done.

Fast Fact
In addition to establishing targeted sales segments, Kögel in recent months has also established a new branch in Austria which means the OEM is marketing its own transport solutions without the need for a third party dealer.
This new branch is based in Schärding (Upper Austria).

Thomas Dorfer, Head of the Austrian branch, and Roland Mayer, Sales Manager for Austria and Switzerland, are responsible for sales in the Alpine republic. They are supported by an eleven-strong team of proven market experts with 20 years of experience in trailer sales.
By deciding against dealer sales and in favour of direct sales via Kögel’s own field sales force, Kögel is breaking new ground in Austria and emphasising its claim that Kögel focuses on the customer.

Fast Fact
The company headquarters and main production facility of Kögel Trailer GmbH is located in the Bavarian town of Burtenbach. Kögel also has factories and sites in Ulm (Germany), Duingen (Germany), Choceň (Czech Republic), Verona (Italy), Gallur (Spain), Kampen (Netherlands), Corcelles-en-Beaujolais (France), Schärding (Austria) and Moscow (Russia).

Fast Fact
In October 2021, Kögel announced a change to its leadership. The partners of Kögel Trailer named Christian Renners as its new CEO and Chairman of the Board. He is also responsible for sales, marketing and business development. Renners is an experienced top manager with decades of expertise in B2B. Most recently, he spent six years as Managing Director of Vossloh Fastening Systems GmbH, a subsidiary of Vossloh AG. The Vossloh Group is a worldwide leading company in the rail infrastructure industry.
“In the course of his career, Renners learned the business from the bottom up,” said Kögel. “The qualified machine fitter and graduate mechanical engineer and MBA (Master of Business Administration) has held numerous managing roles in the industry, also gaining experience in the automotive-adjacent industries and in transport and logistics.”
Renners said Kögel offers a highly innovative portfolio of transport solutions, backed by a motivated team with exceptional expertise across every area of the company. “All this combined means the company has outstanding prospects,” he said. “It is especially important to me that we are a reliable partner to our customers and deliver the best transport solutions in terms of economy and sustainability, so that they can succeed in the face of intense competition.”

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