AVL DiTEST steers safely through the 2020 coronavirus crisis
Sales decline slightly by 9.8%, but 2021 looks to set new record
AVL DiTEST, the Graz-based vehicle diagnostics and measurement technology specialist, continued on its successful trajectory even given the challenges of 2020. Successful crisis management ensured the company a consolidated turnover of 51.4 million euros, with future technologies and e-mobility remaining important business segments.
AVL DiTEST recorded its highest turnover in the company’s history in 2019, bringing in 57 million euros, and 2020 was predicted to surpass this figure again. At the start of the year, the signs clearly pointed to another year of record sales but the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly brought all economic activities to a stop worldwide. The automotive sector, which has been affected by significant upheaval for years, was now faced with even more volatile conditions due to the pandemic. Incoming orders were at an all-time low for AVL DiTEST. “We needed to act quickly, prudently and with overview. It was important to switch from just reacting to acting proactively as soon as possible,” explains Gerald Lackner, CEO of AVL DiTEST. Within a few days, the necessary cost-cutting measures were implemented and a new covid business plan created. “The trick was to retain the experience and highly motivated team, despite all the cutbacks, and continue to follow the innovation roadmap,” adds Gerald Lackner.
At year end, the covid business plan had in fact been slightly surpassed with a consolidated turnover of 51.4 million euros, which equates to a drop of 9.8 percent compared to the record year in 2019. All three locations, the Austrian headquarters, and the two companies in Germany and China, ended the 2020 financial year with very positive results. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, AVL DiTEST once again proved its resilience, which is much respected in professional circles.
For 2021 and 2022, the company is looking ahead with great optimism and anticipates significant growth in the two-digit range. The 2021 financial year looks set to set a new record turnover. Of course, you have to bear in mind that any forecasts do involve a level of uncertainty during the covid pandemic.
Resilience through future technologies
Technological change within the automotive industry is in full swing, with alternative drive technologies playing an increasingly important role. AVL DiTEST recognised this early and included electromobility in its business strategy as early as 2005. The company delivered its first high-voltage measurement devices to the Volkswagen Group in 2010. In 2020, just under half of incoming orders were for measuring equipment for use on electric and hybrid vehicles. “Overall, we generate around two-thirds of our turnover with products that are independent of the type of vehicle drive,” adds Lackner. Long-standing partners such as vehicle manufacturers BMW, Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover and PSA trust the expertise of the testing and measurement technology specialists. They rely on AVL DiTEST solutions for maintenance and servicing of their electric fleets.
It’s essential to keep an eye on market developments at all times. “Even though the demand for products for alternative drives is clearly increasing, we continue to develop emissions measuring technology for combustion engines,” says Lackner. There will be an increased focus on emissions testing in the coming years.
Long-term strategy and agile culture the key to success
“We’ve always seen change as an opportunity and not as a threat,” says the CEO describing AVL DiTEST’s company culture. Two key factors are decisive in this. The first is the far-sighted and meticulously planned strategy which Gerald Lackner aptly describes: “Our strategies are creative but involve truly hard work”. The second factor he mentions is the integrated, agile culture, which has been established throughout the business for years. The resulting resilient structure is characterised by precise and particularly fast communication and responsiveness.
About AVL DiTEST
AVL DiTEST is part of the AVL Group. In 2020, the company and its international subsidiaries employed 312 people and posted turnover figures of 51.4 million euros. In Europe, the developments of the German and Austrian vehicle diagnostics and measurement technology specialists are setting the technological benchmark. The research and development ratio is 20 percent. Testing organisations such as Dekra or TÜV and big-name motor manufacturers such as VW, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA, Daimler Group and the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM rely upon technical expertise from Graz (AT) and Cadolzburg (DE). E-mobility, vehicle diagnostics, measurement technology, climate control servicing and emissions testing are the key business areas of AVL DiTEST.