Tier 1 supplier Mahle has taken over the air conditioning business unit of Japanese firm Keihin, strengthening its global reach.
The role of vehicle air conditioning systems has changed with the widescale roll-out of EVs on the market, no longer are they just about passenger comfort, their operation has a direct impact on vehicle range. According to Tier 1 supplier Mahle, air conditioning systems are one of the most important acceptance factors for consumers. They have a direct influence on comfort and on the energy balance and therefore the cruising range and performance of an EV.
The company says the takeover both strengthens its global footprint in air conditioning technology and improves market access, particularly in Japan and Southeast Asia. Notably, it has identified AC systems as strategically important in expanding its competencies beyond IC engine development.
“This is an important strategic step in our transformation, enabling us to continue to develop our global competitiveness in our future business areas over the long term,” said Dr Jörg Stratmann, chairman of the Mahle management board and CEO. “As a result, we will be able to offer our customers in the region even better support in the areas of development and production.”
Mahle’s product portfolio already includes highly efficient air conditioning systems and heat pump systems for EVs, the development of which have been part of a drive to increase business outside of the conventional passenger car combustion engine market.