The flagging market environment in the automotive sector, especially in China, also impacted the Kistler Group’s sales figures in 2019. Sales totaled 466 million Swiss francs (CHF) last year, equivalent to a year-on-year downturn of 2.1 percent. Nevertheless, the company is in a stronger position as it moves forward into the new year: thanks to strategic investments in facilities and future technologies, Kistler is well on course for the current financial year.
“Even though economic conditions fell short of our expectations in 2019 and we had to post our first sales downturn in ten years, we are looking positively to the future. We have already overcome quite a few crises in our 60-year history, and we shall do the same again this time,” CEO Rolf Sonderegger comments. “We are moving ahead in areas such as electromobility and Industry 4.0 that hold out excellent prospects for the future, and we expect sales to grow again in 2020.”
Regardless of overall economic conditions, Kistler made substantial investments in its own facilities during 2019. Additional capacities were created at the company’s headquarters in Winterthur and also at Heidelberg and Meerane, two of its sites in Germany. These investments pave the way for continuing development work on future trends and technologies. Kistler has also added more skills to its portfolio in recent years by acquiring three companies: AMS, SMETEC, and Vester. These entities have now been fully integrated into the Kistler Group and as from 2020, they form part of the united front that Kistler presents to the world under its common brand. The Kistler Group currently has about 2,200 employees spread across the globe.
Megatrends need data
Industry 4.0 and future mobility are both dependent on measurement data. Huge volumes of data have to be evaluated rapidly, efficiently and precisely to ensure that the vehicles of the future will travel safely on our roads. With the acquisition of software-based data analysis specialist AMS in 2018, Kistler has gained the ability to provide researchers and developers with the entire measuring chain – from sensor through to internet-based data backup and evaluation.
Thanks to its acquisition of Vester Elektronik GmbH in 2017, Kistler’s portfolio has now grown to include optical measurement equipment. This is a key technology that plays a crucial role in the context of new manufacturing methods. When these systems are used (for example) to monitor punching and forming processes, they help to improve quality as well as achieving massive and sustainable reductions in scrap – so production is optimized across the board. Kistler supplies consistently digitalized and networked solutions for Industry 4.0: essential components and modules that boost product quality, process efficiency and added value.
Kistler CEO Rolf Sonderegger: “Even though economic conditions fell short of our expectations in 2019, we are looking positively to the future.”
The Kistler Group expanded three of its facilities in Switzerland and Germany: its headquarters in Winterthur and two of its sites in Germany (Heidelberg and Meerane). With these expansions, the measurement technology experts are sending out a strong signal despite the backdrop of a global downturn. In September 2019, about one hundred Kistler Group employees relocated to the new site on Else-Züblin-Strasse in Winterthur.
Kistler’s Straubenhardt facility manufactures optoelectronic sensors as well as testing and sorting systems based on image processing. Among other functions, the automated test systems are used to test punched and turned parts, and also single parts fed in as bulk. From 2020 onwards, Kistler Straubenhardt GmbH (formerly Vester Elektronik GmbH) is part of the united front that Kistler presents to the world under its common brand.
At Kistler’s facility in Heidelberg, the focus is on vehicle safety. A new production hall is currently under construction to provide an additional 1,300 m2 of space where Kistler will develop and manufacture THOR, its proprietary crash test dummy.
About the Kistler Group
Kistler is the global market leader for dynamic pressure, force, torque and acceleration measurement technology. Cutting-edge technologies provide the basis for Kistler’s modular solutions. Customers in industry and scientific research benefit from Kistler’s experience as a development partner, enabling them to optimize their products and processes so as to secure sustainable competitive edge. Unique sensor technology from this owner-managed Swiss corporation helps to shape future innovations not only in automotive development and industrial automation but also in many newly emerging sectors. Drawing on our extensive application expertise, and always with an absolute commitment to quality, Kistler plays a key part in the ongoing development of the latest megatrends. The focus is on issues such as electrified drive technology, autonomous driving, emission reduction and Industry 4.0. Some 2,200 employees at more than 60 facilities across the globe are dedicated to the development of new solutions, and they offer application-specific services at the local level. Ever since it was founded in 1959, the Kistler Group has grown hand-in-hand with its customers and in 2019, it posted sales of CHF 466 million. About 7% of this figure is reinvested in research and technology – with the aim of delivering better results for every customer.
P: +41 52 224 11 11
Cara-Isabell Märcklin | External Communication
P: +41 52 2241 292