Mahle GmbH
Mahle GmbH is one of the 30 largest automotive suppliers worldwide. As the leading manufacturer of components and systems for combustion engines and its periphery, the Mahle Group is among the top three systems suppliers worldwide for piston systems, cylinder components, valve train systems, air management systems, and liquid management systems.

Worldwide presence

More than 47,500 employees work in 100 production plants and eight research and development centers. Worldwide 3000 development engineers and technicians work as partners for Mahle's customers on products and systems focused on the continuous development of the combustion engine.

In 2010, the Mahle Group generated sales in excess of 5.2 billion Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

. The company has its headquarters in Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....



In 1920 the engineer and pilot Hellmuth Hirth
Hellmuth Hirth
Hellmuth Hirth was a German engineer who founded the Mahle GmbH and Hirth companies, manufacturing engine components and complete aircraft engines respectively.Hirth was born in Heilbronn, the son of an engineer and tool-maker...

 established together with others a small workshop in Cannstatt, where he developed and constructed a two-stroke engine.


26-year-old Hermann Mahle started working for Hellmuth Hirth on December 1, 1920, as the company’s seventh employee. The workshop was then called "Versuchsbau Hellmuth Hirth". December 1, 1920 is acknowledged as the birthday of today’s Mahle Group. It soon became clear that the workshop would not survive by only conducting engine tests. So the need arose to build a profitable line of production in order to finance ongoing engine tests. At that time, in the automobile production, pistons were generally made of cast iron. Versuchsbau Hellmuth Hirth decided to attempt to build light-alloy pistons for combustion engines.

On November 1, 1922 Hermann Mahle’s brother, Ernst Mahle, joined the factory as Head of Engineering. In 1924 the company was re-named Elektrometall GmbH
Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung is a type of legal entityvery common in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other Central European countries...


In 1927, the Company developed the first controlled-expansion piston in Germany and in 1931, the world’s first aluminum ring carrier piston for diesel engines. Following this, piston technology was steadily improved.

In 1938 the conversion into Mahle KG
A Kommanditgesellschaft is the German name for a limited partnership business entity and is used in German, Austrian and some other European legal systems....

 took place and the new company logo was introduced. The company expanded. New products were developed and produced (e.g. aluminum cylinders with Cromal (Chrome plating)
Chrome plating
Chrome plating, often referred to simply as chrome, is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object. The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, ease cleaning procedures, or increase surface hardness.-Process:A component to be chrome plated will...

 surface coatings in 1951).

In 1964, the Company founders Hermann and Ernst Mahle decided to waive private ownership in their companies and make the companies part of a foundation for public benefits. They renounced the largest part of their personal property and transferred the company shares to the Mahle Foundation
Private foundation
A private foundation is a legal entity set up by an individual, a family or a group of individuals, for a purpose such as philanthropy. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the U.S. with over $38 billion in assets...


Aluminium engines

In 1976 Mahle placed the first European Aluminum engine blocks made in low-pressure die casting ready for series production. In 1988 the composite camshaft is enhanced to production standard, and in 2001 Mahle presented a revolutionary cooling concept for pistons in high-speed passenger car diesel engines. The first all-plastic oil filter in the world followed in 2003. Mahle developed and constructed its first complete engine in the same year, which was applied in the Formula Student.

Today, Mahle is a predominant system supplier for components of piston systems, cylinder components, valve train systems, air management systems, and liquid management systems, for all well-known automobile manufacturers.

Product lines and profit center

The product lines of Mahle in details:
  • Piston systems: Aluminum pistons for gasoline and diesel engines, articulated and steel pistons for commercial vehicle engines, piston assemblies and complete power-cell- modules.
  • Cylinder components: Piston rings, piston pins, connecting rods, cylinder liners, bearings and bushings for combustion engines and other automotive applications, piston inserts.
  • Valve train systems: Machined and assembled cylinder heads and engine blocks as well as assembled complete engines, precision sintered parts and turbocharger parts. Complete valve train systems and their components.
  • Air management systems: Complete air intake systems, air filter elements, crankcase ventilation systems, cylinder head and engine covers, cabin air filters, actuators, blowby heating, EGR- modules and mechatronic components.
  • Liquid management systems: Oil filter modules, oil and fuel spin-on filters, fuel filter modules, fuel pressure regulators, inline fuel filters, carbon canister modules, heat exchangers for engines and transmissions, hydraulic oil filters, air driers.

The profit centers of Mahle in detail:
  • Aftermarket: Products for engine service and rebuilding from the complete Mahle product range.
  • Small engine components: Cylinder assemblies, cylinder heads, pistons, and filters for small engines of handheld power equipment, motorcycles, and power sports vehicles.
  • Large engine components: Pistons and engine components for gas, diesel, heavy-oil, and multi-fuel engines for marine applications and energy production.
  • Motorsports: Development and production of high-quality engine components for motorsports.
  • Industrial filtration: Fluid filtration, fluid separation, oil mist separation, process filtration, and dedusting in general, industries, ship maintenance, for large engines, in industrial vehicles, and process technology.
  • Mahle Test Systems: Vehicle and component testing, pressure/vacuum based leak testing, vehicle end-of-line testing, web based reporting, data loggers, assembly plant testing equipment.

Ownership structure

Today, the Mahle GmbH is owned 99,9 % by the Mahle Foundation based in Stuttgart. The Foundation is assisted by a fiduciary committee and annually a part of the company’s profit is paid as a dividend. For example they conduct the Filderklinik hospital in Filderstadt
Filderstadt is a town in the district of Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It is located approximately 13 km south of Stuttgart.Filderstadt is located next to the Stuttgart Airport and the new Trade Fair...

-Bonlanden near Stuttgart. The other 0,1% of the company belongs to the Mahle Beteiligungs GmbH, also based in Stuttgart.

External links

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