Webasto Company Profile
With a history going back to 1901 the Webasto Group sees itself as a technology leader with tradition. It’s a tradition of supplying new, innovative products to automotive, marine and RV markets worldwide. Webasto Group is based in Stockdorf near Munich and has been a family-owned business ever since the company was founded in 1901. The group operates internationally at over 50 locations (over 30 of these production sites) in the divisions sunroofs, convertibles, thermo & comfort and E-solutions & services. Webasto is one of the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide. It is a systems partner for all the well-known automotive manufacturers. For 2017 the Group realised a sales volume of 3.5 billion Euros. It has some 13,000 employees. The company´s core competencies encompass the development, production and sales of complete roof and convertible systems as well as heating, cooling and ventilation systems for passenger cars, commercial and special vehicles, recreational vehicles and boats.
Many of these products have been recognised by awards from indepen dent organisations. For example, asrecently as May this year, the FCA US awarded Webasto with ‘Innovation Supplier of the Year Award’ for its Sky One-Touch Power Top for the all-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler. Webasto is now tightly focussed on the future, following a dual strategy of strengthening core businesses such as sunroofs and heating systems, whilst participating in new markets where the wide knowledge of the Group can be successfully applied. Recent years have seen huge advances in propulsion systems for RV’s and cars. With the ultimate goal of zero emissions manufacturers are increasingly looking towards hybrid and all-electric solutions. We’ve already seen base vehicles such as the e-Sprinter from Mercedes, the e-NV200 from Nissan and the electro Master from Renault. Last year Dethleffs took things one step further with its e-home, all-electric motorhome. Despite being a concept vehicle, it clearly showed the way forward.
It is in this field of electromobility that Webasto has been making big advances recently. Heating systems, battery systems and charging solutions are all areas where Webasto has been hard at work. A good example are Webasto’s two High Voltage Heaters (HVH). These are heating systems for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles that convert DC electricity into heat. With outputs up to 10 kW and voltages from 100 to 870 volts DC these products offer infinitely variable outputs with no inrush currents. What’s more they’re small and light, requiring very little installation space.
Layer technology is used across a large surface area to facilitate extremely fast heat up times along with direct heat transfer, for the highest efficiency (> 95%). As you might expect of Webasto the units are certified for automotive requirements having both ECE-R10 and ECE-R122 type approval. The HVH 100 is the only high voltage heater on the market which is able to handle voltages up to 870 V, as needed by many buses and trucks, as well as LCV’s and some cars. It received the ‘Innovation Label Award’ award from an international jury of safety, emission, and transport experts at the Busworld 2017 trade fair in Kortrijk, Belgium. Webasto offers a wide range of accessories for integrating the HVH into vehicles, together with an international support and service network. Another example lies in high performance charging solutions for electric vehicles. Already available to the market is the Webasto PURE wall-box solution. With a charging capacity from 3.7 to 22 kW it is up to ten times faster than a standard 10 amp domestic socket. Naturally, it incorporates protective circuitry to deliver the highest possible standards of electrical safety.
Webasto PURE is due to be joined by further products. Due to launch later this year, the ‘intelligent charging solution’ provides charging management with control via an app and it is suitable for Smart Home networks. In addition, two further charging solutions are under development. The first is a very powerful charging station that charges with direct current and is therefore particularly fast. It is well suited for commercial customers, but also for private customers who want to integrate it into a photovoltaic system. A mobile solution for charging on the move is also being planned. Webasto supports these solutions as a full-service provider offering not just the hardware but also installation, connectivity and supplementary services. Further supplementary services such as the processing of payments for battery charging are also possible. All these charging products are made in Germany to the highest possible standards. More details will be available on Webasto’s stand at the Caravan Salon in August.
Webasto’s technical expertise and long-standing ties with the global automotive industry make it the partner of choice to support the fast growing electromobility sector. To this end it already has products ready for the new mobility paradigm and many more are set to follow.
Webasto is becoming actively involved in new business areas that are a good fit for the company’s competency profile and that offer solutions for the megatrends in mobility. At the moment, the focus next to charging solutions is on the development of battery systems. In this context, customers and others profit from the competence of the Webasto, not just in the field of thermo-management, but also from the company’s expertise in system integration and its long-time collaboration with OEMs. Of course, all this is supported by the global sales and service structure of the Webasto Group. In accordance with this strategy Webasto is developing new products and technologies as well as expanding its capacities in line with market requirements. Indeed, the development of electronics competence has had an increasing significance for the whole Group. As a result, now the company is producing some of the electronics components itself.