Strategy 2020, which had the objective of transforming the company into a global player, has now been succeeded by the new Strategy 2025. 

The objective of Strategy 2025 is on raising the value of the company for the long term and includes: profitable sales growth, raising the adjusted EBIT margin to around 8 per cent by 2023 at the latest, improving the generation of cash flow and optimising the gearing ratio (ratio of net debt to EBITDA). 

Strategy 2025 is based on five main pillars:  

Growth and corporate structure: In recent years the company has continued to build up its global presence and its product portfolio. This includes the acquisitions of KLL, York, V.Orlandi, Axscend, PressureGuard and the Stara Group, all of which were realised in the period from 2016 to 2019. In this period, the North American and Chinese production networks were also consolidated. The focus in the coming years lies on optimising the global footprint, bundling Group-wide competencies and realising greater economies of scale and improving profitability in the process.

Technology as a central driver: To ensure the long-term success of the portfolio of products and services, SAF-HOLLAND began looking at innovations in the two most-relevant product lines of axles and suspension systems and fifth wheels at an early stage that address the three global mega-trends of digitalisation, electrification and autonomous vehicles. These innovations include products that combine mechanics with sensors and electronics (e.g. TrailerMaster), the TRAKe axle family and automated coupling systems (SAF-HOLLAND Automatic Coupling). Alliances and partnerships with other companies play an important role in this regard. It is planned to establish global competence centres for the core products to enhance efficiency. 

Global backbone: SAF-HOLLAND aims to expand its global reach by strengthening its position in the areas of global standardisation and harmonisation, digitalisation of operational processes and development activities, purchasing and compliance, and by further improving and developing its global infrastructure and leadership model. 

This will lay the foundation for future product platforms and machine acquisitions, strengthen core know-how and realise ongoing cost reductions.

Operational Excellence: SAF-HOLLAND seeks to continuously improve its business processes in order to maximise safety, quality, flexibility and quantity. This also involves protecting the environment and conserving scarce resources. The health and safety of our employees have been assigned top priority. The SAF-HOLLAND Operational Excellence System supports these improvement measures in the various areas and is closely enmeshed with financial targets. With our Operational Excellence System (OpEx-System) we will establish global policies and set a clear focus on our future development. We define what “best-in-class” means and draw up detailed road maps for each step of implementation, providing orientation and guidance for our improvement activities along the way. The OpEx-RoadMaps lay the foundation for corporate-wide standards in all six core areas (Leadership & Culture; Safety, Health & Environment; Total Quality; Material Supply; Product Development & Engineering; Production System), but particularly in Leadership & Culture and the Production System.

Focus on employees: As the company moves toward becoming an employer of choice, it will build up a skilled and motivated workforce, measured on its own assessments, by investing in its employees and encouraging them to engage in lifelong learning. SAF-HOLLAND believes that its future growth is based on relationships, collaboration and integrity. In addition to increasing employee engagement and efficiency, another aim of Strategy 2025 is to increase the proportion of female managers and female representation overall. Other components in the area of human resources involve raising the degree of training given to each employee and fostering employee loyalty.