01. A look into the past: the challenges of 2022
Maximum revenue, extreme purchase prices, major changes.
With revenue of 446 million euros (2021: 409 million euros; +9 percent) and exactly 10,599 vehicles produced (9,962; +5 percent), the Schwarzmüller Group was able to achieve record numbers once again in the 2022 financial year. And yet 2022 can arguably be considered a crisis year. The aftermath of the pandemic was obscured by uncertainties regarding the further development of the global economy. Higher material costs due to material availability problems, rising energy and raw material prices as well as high order backlogs also impacted the operating result. In addition, the infrastructure segment started to experience a significant decline in the second half of the year. All of this was ultimately reflected in a negative year-end result for the Schwarzmüller Group in 2022 – exacerbated by one-off effects and extraordinary write-offs.
Facing uncertainty with cohesion.
Although there was a clear sense of uncertainty among our employees, who were also personally affected by rising prices, their cohesion, loyalty to the company and fighting spirit were stronger than ever. The whole team stood united and gave their support to working time cuts and all other changes – a very clear signal to the employer. This immediately became visible and noticeable in positive upward trends and improved figures.
Managing and shaping change ourselves.
At the same time, management structures within the Schwarzmüller Group
changed. The sole owner and new Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board, Beate Paletar, who had been involved in operational management from 2005 to 2012, decided to take the reins more firmly into her own hands. This had become possible for the first time in decades following the consolidation of all company shares.
“After all, it is precisely this consolidation that creates the opportunity to consistently develop the group further as a family business.”
The restructuring of the Management Board and Supervisory Board has already begun – with the swift and energetic support of the experienced manager Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Biringer. As COO, he has been taking care of the optimisation of all operational processes since March 2023. Operational measures that are already taking effect. Capacities that have been adjusted, structures that have been streamlined and processes that have been made more efficient. Measures that are already reflected in the results, affording us a positive outlook for the future.
Changes also occurred within the Supervisory Board. The aim was to upgrade this controlling body and to drive forward its strategic development more vigorously. Mag. Klaus Rinnerberger, member of the Management Board of Pierer Industrie AG and CEO of LEONI AG, and Mr. Martin Lehner, the former CEO of the Wacker Neuson Group Munich, were brought on board as the first new members of the Supervisory Board.
The Schwarzmüller Group has established itself as Europe’s largest niche provider with products that guarantee added value for its customers. This path will be continued, although the main focal points and pace of development will be reviewed.
02. The status quo: the strategy and change
Behind every change, every further development, there is a goal – or several.
Just like the change and further development of the Schwarzmüller Group. Namely, to achieve stability in these turbulent times, and to do our homework.
To accomplish what the Schwarzmüller Group stands for – and wishes to stand for even more strongly in the future:
To build functionally intelligent and resource-conserving commercial vehicles for a future worth living.
What it takes are people who lead the way. Towards the future.
To this end, we have placed a strong focus on the development of a new leadership culture. A culture that is future-proof and strategy-driven. And – above all – that ignites a spirit of optimism at all levels. A new spirit. Because our goals are ambitious. Bold. And remind us exactly what Schwarzmüller is. Namely a family and a family business that is moving towards sustainable stability together with its workforce and strong partners.
The path to industry leadership.
Through excellent services and industry standards.
To achieve this, the Schwarzmüller Group is focusing even more on its customers. New industry standards for long-haul transport and infrastructure are to be established by providing excellent services and optimum cost efficiency over the entire product life. Because that is what Schwarzmüller stands for – everything revolves around satisfied customers. Further developing our expertise and offerings. That is why our new level of services including maintenance, calibration, repair and the supply of spare parts will take centre stage. Plus the operation of a large hire fleet and international trading of used vehicles, which will set the
Schwarzmüller Group even further ahead of its competitors.
“Here, too, we take seriously our promise to deliver maximum benefit to our customers. More powerful vehicles along with a complete service package. That is what we will be offering.”
03. A look into the future: expanding customer service
As we develop further, we also introduce new products that raise the offerings of the Schwarzmüller Group to a new level.
New products that enable higher performance thanks to their special configuration. And prove that Schwarzmüller is Europe’s largest niche manufacturer of tailor-made trailers that are far from standard.
About the Schwarzmüller Group
The Schwarzmüller Group is the largest European niche provider of trailers and bodies. The company constructs more than 150 vehicle types with the aim of guaranteeing added value in use to its customers. In the course of its long history dating back to 1871, Schwarzmüller has become the leading specialist for individual transport solutions. With vehicles of the Schwarzmüller and Hüffermann brands, the group currently supplies the construction industry, infrastructure companies, the raw and recyclable materials industry as well as long-haul transport companies in 20 countries.
For further information
Head of Marketing and Communication
Tel. +43 7713 800-445
Schwarzmüller Group · Hanzing 11 · 4785 Freinberg · Austria