6. Production

Production volumes for 2011 were approximately 15 % higher than in 2010. In accordance with the long-term localization strategy of counteracting currency and other risk factors, ensuring proximity to customers and optimizing the value-chain, the highest increase in production volumes was generated in the growth region Asia/Pacific. Thus, that region’s portion of the total Schaeffler Group production volume was expanded further.

All Schaeffler Group plants worldwide operate to the highest standards of quality and environmental protection. The worldwide “ MOVE” program (“Mehr Ohne VErschwendung” – More Without Waste) was initiated in 2008 to further improve our competitive position. MOVE is a holistic program for increasing efficiency; its key objective is to safeguard the zero-defect-principle and to remain true to the high principle of quality. The Schaeffler Group uses this program to optimize its production, which results in improving its own performance, more quickly expanding potential for adding value through new activities, and in further increasing customer satisfaction. The knowledge gained from the program again helped implement measures to increase productivity and improve production cost in 2011.

Thus, despite the large number of various projects started or ramped up and the growing volume of production, Schaeffler was able to consistently maintain its high level of quality and minimize the number of claims. This is confirmed by the many awards and prizes given to Schaeffler Group as a supplier in the automotive and industrial sectors by its customers.

At the end of 2011, 70 production locations represented the Schaeffler Group around the world.

The expansion of the production location in Taicang, China, where the Schaeffler Group has started adding two new plants to the existing three production plants, made progress in 2011. Schaeffler has also started construction on a new plant in Nanjing, China, during the year. [--break--]  The first construction phase is planned for completion in late 2012, allowing production to [--break--] start-up in 2013. Reacting to increasing demand for our products in Asia, the Schaeffler Group built a new plant in Savli, India. In addition to setting up new plants, Schaeffler also increased its degree of vertical integration in the Asia/Pacific region. This also significantly expands [--break--] production capacities, reducing delivery lead times for our customers which will further improve our market position in the Asia/Pacific area.

The start of full production in 2011 at the Irapuato, Mexico, production location has considerably increased production capacity there.

Production capacities in the Eastern European plants were also expanded significantly.

The main plant in Herzogenaurach focused on the integration of new production start-ups and technically optimizing production capacities in order to maintain efficiency and flexibility at the highest level.