Austrian lead-acid veteran Banner is marking 80 years in the business with plans to expand its workforce and production capacity.
The company said it has already invested more than EUR50 million ($60.6m) in its Leonding manufacturing plant over the past six years— and has committed a further EUR15m to expand production capacity.
And while the firm acknowledges the growing “e-mobility trend”, it said sales of full-hybrid or purely electric drive systems “remain extremely modest”. So the company plans to sharpen its focus on the stop-start segment, where it said it is regarded as “one of Europe’s leading suppliers”.
Commercial CEO Andreas Bawart said: “Start-stop batteries from Banner make a decisive contribution to the environmental compatibility of motor vehicles. In the 2016/17 financial year alone, they provided fuel savings of around 66 million litres and a reduction in CO2 emissions of some 164,000t.
“At present, we have several development projects in progress, which are targeted on an additional improvement in start-stop battery efficiency,” Bawart said. “The aim is to enhance power intake and output via perfected cell design, active mass additives and targeted design measures.”
“Moreover, further investments are in the pipeline in order to ensure that we achieve our future target of 20% sales revenue growth and the coming years will also see a double-digit increase in the size of the workforce,” Bawart said.
Banner’s current workforce numbers around 800— 520 of whom are based at the Leonding site.
The company booked annual revenues of EUR272m for the past financial year ended last March, aided by a 400,000 increase in the sale of units over the period that took starter battery sales to 4.5 million.