Sauer-Danfoss Becomes Danfoss Power Solutions
Mobile hydraulic manufacturer Sauer-Danfoss has officially changed its name to Danfoss and will now operate as a new business segment called Danfoss Power Solutions within the Danfoss Group. Danfoss Power Solutions will replace Sauer-Danfoss as the primary corporate and brand name from this point forward.
Danfoss A/S and Sauer-Danfoss officially merged on March 1, 2013, when Danfoss acquired the remaining 24.4% shares it had not previously owned. Sauer-Danfoss, which focuses almost exclusively on the mobile hydraulic markets, had revenues of $1.9 billion in 2012, and has sales, manufacturing and engineering capabilities in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
“This is an extremely important step for the entire Danfoss Group,” said Danfoss President & CEO Niels B. Christiansen. “Sauer-Danfoss is a well-run global company so, for us, it marks the convergence of two equal units that will become stronger as a result. Together, we will discover synergies, learn from each other and build on common principles, bringing long-term benefits for all our customers.”
The new Danfoss structure will now include two product groups—Climate & Energy and Power Solutions. The Power Solutions Group will feature much the same organization alignment as Sauer-Danfoss with Hydrostatic (nee Propel), Work Function and Controls business groups, as well as what had been called the Stand-Alone group that included Turolla OpenCricuitGear, Comatrol cartridge valves, Schwarzmüller inverters and Valmova directional valves. Management of these groups, for the most part remains unchanged. Management will continue from operations in Nordborg, Denmark, NeumÜnster, Germany and Ames, Iowa in the U.S.
“By joining Danfoss, we become part of one strong global brand with a high level of commitment to R&D. This will drive innovation forward and allow us to stay focused on serving our customers,” says Eric Alström, former Sauer-Danfoss president & CEO who continues this role for the new Danfoss Power Solutions business segment.
“Customers will not see a change in the way we operate other than the name which will be the most tangible difference,” Alström said.
Concerning the name change to Danfoss Power Solutions, Christiansen said, “There is already Danfoss in the name, and Danfoss has been part of the name, so it’s not like we’re going have a totally different brand name.
“We have spent a lot of money building the Danfoss brand. We have spent a lot of money building the Sauer-Danfoss brand. If we combine them we think one plus one equals more than two,” he said.
Alström echoed those sentiments. “I have had opportunities to speak with many of our customers about this, OEMs as well as distributors. Their reaction is similar to mine, we’ve changed names four times over the last 25 years or so, so from a customer perspective, it’s not a very emotional event." Danfoss Mobile Hydraulics merged with Sauer Inc. in 2000 to create Sauer-Danfoss.
“We are a strong brand in the hydraulic space, however Danfoss is actually a stronger brand in many of the markets that we are now trying to grow faster in, specifically emerging markets. It is much more well known, for example, in China, and India and particularly in Russia,” he said.
“But the key is for our hydraulic customers they will see no change in the way we operate, except they will now say Danfoss, not Sauer-Danfoss,” Christiansen said. “In fact, there has not been much reaction from our customers. They mostly think exactly like we do,” he said. “If John Deere acquires something it, is eventually called John Deere and so on. When we’ve met with our customers they have very straightforward, “that’s logical” response. It hasn’t been a big issue with our customers. Almost a no-brainer.”
A more complete look at merger of Sauer-Danfoss and Danfoss and the creation of Danfoss Power Solutions will be featured in an upcoming issue of Diesel Progress North America and Diesel Progress International.