Mahle CEO Heinz Junker: Cosworth name was linked to Ford racing.
This month it even changed the name of Cosworth, famous in racing circles, to Mahle Powertrain.
"Cosworth was linked to Ford racing and Audi, and this made it difficult for us to establish relations with other companies," says Mahle Chairman Heinz Junker.
The British unit gives Mahle another area of business: engineering services and hardware/software development.
Mahle of Stuttgart, Germany, supplies pistons, rings, bearings and assemblies, valvetrain and filter systems. Mahle ranks No. 36 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of an estimated $3.60 billion in fiscal 2004.
Mahle Powertrain Inc. can manufacture engines in low to medium volume and produce cylinder heads and other major components. It makes many of Audi's five-valve cylinder heads and machines heads for the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Junker says that adding Cosworth's manufacturing and engineering helped Mahle win new development work for existing customers and allows it to conduct in-house research.
Junker expects automakers to outsource more engineering, and he thinks Mahle's manufacturing capability could give it an edge over AVL of Austria, FEV in Germany and British-based Ricardo.
"This is definitely a useful synergy," says analyst Antonio Ferreira of CSM Worldwide in Byfleet, England. "What Mahle does requires a lot of partnership with engine manufacturers."