As technology advances, Schaeffler Technologies keeps businesses rolling along. It is the largest subsidiary of Schaeffler Group, which traces its roots to 1883. Schaeffler Technologies manufactures a vast array of bearings: cylindrical and plain roller bearings, linear systems, needle roller bearings, to name a few. The bearings are used in aerospace, automotive, industrial machinery applications. Its three main brands are INA, FAG, and LuK; though separate, the brands work collaboratively on specific product development. The company is owned by Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, the widow of a co-founder, and her son, Georg F. W. Schaeffler.
More than $15 billion in debt, Schaeffler Technologies moved to open its business to outside investors in early 2010 by reorganizing its manufacturing business and renaming it Schaeffler Technologies GmbH & Co. KG. With designations of GmbH (limited liability corporation) and KG (individuals within business are personally liable for company's debt), the new business entity operates as a limited liability company with the liability transferred to the corporation itself, not to the individual owners.
The reorganization came on the heels of the global economic crisis, which happened after Schaeffler Technologies launched a hostile takeover of Continental AG, a mega automotive components company based in Germany. Schaeffler Technologies initially captured a 90% stake in Continental, but in 2011 its stake was reduced to 49%.
Schaeffler Technologies' networks operate in about 180 locations in 50 countries worldwide, which include almost 100 fabrication facilities and research and design centers. The company manufactures bearings ranging in size from 2mm to 4.25m in diameter. The majority of its revenue is attributed to the automotive division and the rest to its industrial, aviation, and aerospace divisions. With the recovering economy, Schaeffler Technologies announced in mid-2010 its plans to invest almost $400 million to build two new manufacturing plants in China and one in India over the next couple of years. It already has more than 10 plants in China, India, South Korea, and Vietnam to tap the increasing demand from Asian markets.
The Group's INA brands are used in automotive transmissions and engines. The FAG brand makes products for aerospace, automotive, and industrial applications; these precision bearings have been used on the Space Shuttle (the program made its last flight in late 2010) and Airbus A380. LuK products are used in automotive drivetrains, and it is estimated that one in four cars today has an LuK clutch. – less