Mobile Climate Control develops, manufactures and sells complete climate control systems for commercial vehicles and is an industry leader in North America and Europe. Climate control systems (HVAC systems) include heating, ventilation, air conditioning and controls.
Customised climate systems
Mobile Climate Control is active in the market for climate control systems for buses, off-road, utility and defence vehicles. The division is focused on customised solutions in small to medium-sized series. Its solutions include heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and controls, as well as a wide range of associated components.
The division’s largest market is North America, with about 80 per cent of sales, while the European market accounts for about 16 per cent of sales. The remaining 4% of sales are mainly in China, South Africa and Brazil.
Mobile Climate Control’s four main market segments are manufacturers of buses, such as transit, coach, school and shuttle buses; manufacturers of off-road vehicles for construction, agriculture, forestry, mining and materials handling; utility vehicles such as delivery vans, refuse collection trucks, ambulances and fire trucks; and defence vehicles for troop transports.
The market for climate control systems has an annual turnover of almost SEK 4.5 billion in North America and about SEK 5 billion in Europe. It is influenced by macro trends such as urbanisation and greater environmental consideration in response to rising carbon emissions, among other factors. Demand is also expected to increase for higher quality climate control systems that improve comfort, and this is expected to have a positive impact on the division’s operations.
Interview with Clas Gunneberg
"Significant potential in electrification and connected products."
Division Manager at Mobile Climate Control
You showed strong growth in 2018. How would you summarize the past year, yourself?
2018 was a good year for us. We delivered several new electric climate control systems to bus customers in North America, we inaugurated a plant in India and we established a development center for new climate control systems for buses in Europe. Alongside a strong market in the North American off-road vehicle segment, this contributed to a high level of organic growth. In parallel, we were challenged this year by customs increases and a tight situation in the supply chain, which played a part in us not attaining the margins we had hoped for. Overall, however, it was a positive year and it is gratifying to see us grow.
What do you think of the technological development and digitalization in the industry?
Digitalization provides us with strong opportunities to optimize internal operations and make them as efficient as possible. Currently, we are focusing a great deal on connected products, which on our part means adding an electronic module to our products. That makes it possible for us to monitor our products’ function in real time, and provides us and our customers with important information, for example, when it is time for service to avoid outages in the climate control system. Our customers can thus become more efficient by optimizing the use of their vehicles. This is a typical example of how we can create added value for the customer.
At the same time, we’re seeing a shift towards electric and more complex products in the industry. Things are going well for us in this field; as I mentioned earlier, we delivered several new electric climate control systems for buses in North America during the year.
What are your biggest challenges?
A significant challenge for both us and the industry in general is the competency supply; at present there is a great need for capable and experienced engineers. A further challenge over the longer term is the technological shift under way toward driverless vehicles. At present, it’s difficult to judge exactly how driverless transports will impact us. Here, it’s a matter of staying on the leading edge and ensuring that we have products that can expand our business when it becomes topical — for example, climate control systems for batteries and various types of electronic equipment.
What opportunities do you see for Mobile Climate Control, going forward?
In 2018, we opened a plant in India, which is a market I see great potential in over the somewhat longer term. I am also looking forward to following our projects in climate control systems for buses in Europe. We conducted many important initiatives during the year, and there are good prospects for becoming even stronger.
Apart from geographic opportunities for growth, the technological shift in the industry is naturally very exciting; there are major opportunities for us in the future as a result of the trend toward electric and connected products.