The German powertrain supplier Mahle GmbH is putting more emphasis on selling its parts in the U.S. aftermarket with a rebranding strategy and a new name: Mahle Performance.
Until now, the supplier's Mahle Aftermarket unit was selling the company's performance piston rings under the brand Mahle Original Performance. Ted Hughes, Mahle Aftermarket's head of marketing, said it was "kind of an oxymoron."
Many customers interpreted "Original Performance" as "original equipment replacement" rather than as a product for the performance market, Hughes said. That branding confusion extended to Mahle's performance gaskets and engine bearings, each sold under a different name.
Mahle Performance will unite multiple performance brands under one name, which eventually will include tool kits for any engine upgrade, said Hughes, who operates from Mahle Aftermarket's Detroit-area offices.
The rebranding will let Mahle — with total global sales of $15.1 billion last year — contend with performance competitors under a unified front. The new Mahle Performance line offers catalogs for piston rings and gaskets, plus engine bearings for performance applications on import vehicles. Domestic U.S. vehicle engine bearings used for performance applications will remain under the Clevite brand.