Rheinmetall’s electrical coolant pump
Electric parts will account for more than half of German group Rheinmetall Automotive’s sales as early as 2020.
That was the message from CEO Horst Binnig in a speech at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "If I take a look at the products we currently supply for the purpose of optimising the drive train on an I.C. engine and compare these with what we currently have in our development pipeline for future types of drive systems, I arrive at a substantial growth in value,” he says. “In terms of figures, this could be almost double our share of sales per unit. As early as 2020, electrification will account for over one half of our sales, comprising electric parts for I.C. engines as well as components for hybrids and electric cars.”
The company is currently working on castings for the battery holders of electric vehicles and on cooled aluminum housings for the electric drive units themselves, which are complex items, he says. It is also involved in electrically-powered auxiliary units, extremely lightweight structural parts, heat-pump components and range extenders. “With the emergence of products previously non-existent but now required, this makes it necessary for customers and suppliers to reinvent themselves,” he warns. Binnig emphasised that new propulsion systems pose a huge challenge for industry, with hybridisation and electro-mobility “redefining the classical relationship between manufacturers and their suppliers”. Yet despite the uncertainties, he insists there are more rewards than risks.