It all started in 1887 with Halda which was making beautiful clocks. In 1916 Axel Djurson founded Svenska AB Bromsregulatorer (SAB) in Malmö, Sweden. The patent for an automatic brake adjuster for trains was filed. Over the years SAB became one of the world's most distinguished and leading suppliers of brake systems for trains.
About the same time, the famous aviator, Enoch Thulin, founded the company Thulinverken in Landskrona, Sweden. They developed and manufactured aircraft engines and cars. Thulinverken became an important subcontractor to SAB and was later acquired.
In the 1920s, taxameters were manufactured under the name of Haldex. This division was also acquired and this is how the name Haldex came into the group. The name change to Haldex didn’t take place until 1985 though.
It was in the 1960s that the foundation to what we call Haldex today was laid. In 1962 SAB started a development project to see how they could transform the brake adjuster for trains to road vehicles. There is no doubt that this project was a great success. Today after 50 years, the brake adjuster is still the global market leader with more than 75 million brake adjusters being produced.
The Air controls product range was added in 1998 with the acquisition of Midland Grau.
One of our most recent success stories is the air disc brake. In 1993 Haldex started up an extensive project to develop air disc brakes to heavy vehicles. In 1999 the delivery of the first generation disc brakes, called ModulX, was made. A second generation called ModulT was launched in 2011 and ModulT is today the fastest growing product for Haldex.
One of the most important milestones in recent year is the split of the company in 2011. Prior to the split Haldex had four divisions. The hydraulic division was turned into a new company called Concentric. The traction division with the all wheel drive for passenger cars was divested to BorgWarner. And the spring wire division (Garphyttan) was sold to Suzuki Metal. The division with brake and suspension systems for heavy vehicles remained as Haldex. And that is the business we know today.
In 2012 the current CEO, Bo Annvik joined the company. He revitalized the strategy, changed the management team, communicated new financial objectives and initiated a project to stabilize the business, increase profits and focus on profitable growth.
In 2014, we had a number of successful product launches:
- DualDryer, an air dryer with a dual dryer system was launched in North America.
- The improved palm coupling, Protect-O, which automatically closes to protect the coupling from dirt and water.
This year one of our major customers signed a partnership agreement for the Modul-T disc brake, resulting in a multi-year agreement for disc brake supplies. We also produced the 500 000th Modul-T disc brake, and celebrated 10 years in Hungary.
In 2015, based on our new strategy initiated by Bo Annvik, we opened a new R&D center at the MIRA Technology Park in Hinckley, UK. During the summer, Haldex' Group Management Team was strengthened by Lena Nordin as SVP Human Resources and Åke Bengtsson as CFO.
2016 was a great year for Haldex’ ModulT Air Disc Brake: We introduced it in North America, and could celebrate that we had produced one million ModulT Disc Brakes. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, Germany, Haldex also had a world debut with the lightest disc brake on the market thanks to the ModulT Air Disc Brake for truck and trailers.
Following the strategy revitalized by Bo Annvik and the Group Management Team, we:
- Launched the Midland brand in North America, plus the Grau and Reman brands in Europe. This way, we can respond in a more targeted way to customers regardless of the age of their vehicles.
- Launched a new website which also includes a North American e-commerce platform to support the aftermarket.
- Announced a joint venture between Haldex and VIE to develop electromechanical bake systems. The initial focus will be on the electric bus market in China.
In July of 2016, the first of several bids in order to acquire Haldex was placed.
In September of 2016, three people join the Group Management Team: Walter Frankiewicz as SVP North American Sales, Fredrik Seglö as SVP Product Management, and Andreas Jähnke as SVP R&D.