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INDUS promotes sustainability of its portfolio companies: Study on development processes in the automotive industry at KSG

Bergisch Gladbach / Osnabrück, 25 April 2019


• Independent study by the Center of Automotive Management in cooperation with goetzpartners
• Commissioned by INDUS Holding AG, thematically supported by Kieback-Schäfer-Group (KSG)


INDUS Holding AG supports its portfolio companies in an advisory and financial capacity through targeted programs in developing innovative products, optimizing processes and positioning themselves for the future. This also includes the continuous analysis of industry developments and the derivation of scenarios for the strategic orientation of the companies. Against this background, INDUS has commissioned a study entitled “The future of the development process in the automotive industry” (Die Zukunft des Entwicklungsprozesses in der Automobilindustrie – Bratzel/Russo, 2019). The Center of Automotive Management and management consultancy goetzpartners conducted the independent study on the basis of expert interviews. The Kieback-Schäfer-Group (KSG), which has been part of the INDUS portfolio since 1998 and specializes in automotive engineering, was in charge of the thematic orientation of the study. The study is freely available at www.goetzpartners.com (only in German).


The automotive industry is in a state of upheaval: electric mobility, car sharing and driving services as well as the market entry of players from other industries in the development of autonomous vehicles pose new challenges for established brand manufacturers and their suppliers. Changes in user behavior not only have an impact on demand, but also on development processes and production. Whereas models and series (“hardware layers”) have been the focus up to now, value creation is increasingly shifting in the direction of IT (on-board computers) and software. The study predicts that series and development processes will run simultaneously, accelerated by digitization. In future, customers will no longer opt for the car brand as a private vehicle, but for a mobility platform in the context of autonomous driving offers. As a result, the variety of models decreases. The added value is no longer determined by driving quality, but by functions provided by software and service packages.


KSG sees the current study as a confirmation of the Group's orientation: As a supplier for the entire process chain from design to the production of prototypes and series parts, the Group has been concentrating for some time on digital technologies and virtual reality in model development. "We work very closely with our customers and rely on state-of-the-art CAD and VR technologies to implement innovative solutions," explains Jörg Kieback, Managing Director of KSG. “The eBus cluster is an example of the efficiency of the group. As an industrial partner, we developed concept and design proposals and mapped them completely in our VR system.” In the eBus cluster, research institutions such as the Fraunhofer Institute and industrial partners such as KSG combine their expertise in the fields of information and communication technology, vehicle technology and energy management to develop the electric bus of the future. The first customer orders with KSG's VR technology have already been generated.


“At INDUS, we see our task above all in creating the necessary entrepreneurial leeway for our portfolio companies that will enable them to further expand their position in international competition. This also includes the promotion of development projects, which we have systematized by establishing the INDUS development bank model,” explains Dr. Jörn Großmann, member of the INDUS Board of Management. INDUS supports selected research and development projects of portfolio companies for the development of new technologies and markets with 50 to 80 percent of the project volume. Currently, the total volume of promotional funds available amounts to around three percent of the Group’s annual EBIT.

About INDUS Holding AG:

Established in 1989 and headquartered in Bergisch-Gladbach, INDUS Holding AG is an SME holding company which concentrates on the long-term development of its portfolio companies. The industry focus is on construction and infrastructure, automotive technology, mechanical and plant engineering, medical engineering / life sciences as well as metals technology. As a leading specialist for sustainable corporate development, INDUS attaches great importance to the operational autonomy of its 45 portfolio companies. Since 1995, INDUS Holding AG has been listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (DE0006200108); in 2018, the Group generated revenues of around EUR 1.7 billion.

About KSG:

The Kieback-Schäfer-Group is a full-service provider in automotive engineering covering the entire process chain from design to the production of prototypes and series parts. Employing around 320 people at six locations worldwide and generating annual sales of around EUR 40 million, the Group serves a broad range of customers in the automotive, agricultural machinery, commercial vehicle, aviation and household industries. For more information on KSG, visit www.k-s-group.eu.