Established little more than a decade ago, Haldex Traction AB can draw on a wealth of know-how and on strong financial and technological backing by its parent, the Haldex Group. Headquartered in Stockholm and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, Haldex is an international corporation, a leading brand in innovative solutions for the vehicle industry.
A few figures best illustrate the actual size and importance of Haldex. The Group has 23 production plants and nine development centres in the Americas, Europe and Asia, a staff of 3,500 worldwide, total sales of 5.7 billion SEK, worldwide exports and major market shares in the demanding US and European markets.
“Haldex Traction is a wholly owned subsidiary and a division within the Group,” explains Ulf Ahlén, President of Haldex Traction AB. “We share the IT/IS resources, buildings and services, but we are very independent in operations.” Man of the first hour, Mr. Ahlén joined the company when it was born on January 1, 1998. “The division was established when Haldex had secured the first major order for traction systems, an order from the German car maker VW for the Golf,” says Mr. Ahlén. “So the Haldex management decided to form a subsidiary for this product.”
Developed on the basis of a Swedish patent acquired by Haldex, the traction system is an innovative solution for all-wheel drives, AWD for short. The electronically controlled system closes the gap between the mechanical and the electronic components of the cars. Fully integrated into the control management system of the vehicle, the Haldex traction system greatly improves the interaction of the subsystems, providing a number of benefits.
“Our systems provide enhanced traction and enhanced vehicle dynamics along with optimum driving comfort and transparency,” explains Mr. Ahlén. “And they optimise the utilisation of fuel. Moreover, the built-in overload protection and the fully controllable torque transfer characteristics decrease the design requirements on weight and thus contribute to reducing fuel consumption right from the planning stage.”
Thanks to cutting edge technology, Haldex is the undisputed market leader in controllable AWD traction systems. “In Europe our market share exceeds 50%,” Mr. Ahlén points out. “And in the USA, we hold a considerable market share, too.” The North American markets are supplied by the Mexican production facilities of Haldex Traction, inaugurated in 2008.
Haldex traction systems are optimising the safety, performance and environmental compatibility of AWDs from many well-known car makers and brands including VW, Audi, Bugatti, Land Rover, Cadillac, Volvo, Saab, Opel, Skoda, Seat or Buick. Prime choice of major car makers, the Haldex traction system is highly reputed with customers and experts alike.
The Swedish specialists have won an innovation award for the XWD system. Just like all versions of the fourth generation, XWD is extremely fast. The intelligent AWD system senses the driver’s intention and the changing vehicle state in fractions of a second and continuously adapts the torque distribution to maintain traction and vehicle stability in all driving situations.
The positive future outlook of Haldex is soundly based on a major order won this year. “We have secured the biggest order ever within the Haldex Group, an order worth 4.5 billion SEK for an all-wheel drive system to VW,” underlines Mr. Ahlén. “Our solution will be the fifth generation of the system designed to meet future market requirements on weight, cost and fuel consumption. This order provides the base for a robust growth until 2018.”
For the near future, Mr. Ahlén expects the biggest growth in Mexico, where new models will be launched next year. Future plans also call for further innovations to widen the product offering by opening up new applications in two-wheel driven
cars or in hybrid cars.