Back to May 2015, the largest Polish manufacturer of trailers and agricultural equipment, Wielton SA, signed an agreement with Fruehauf, which leads the French semi-trailer market. The agreement is aimed at mutual business development and strategic cooperation. According to various estimates, thedeal value is considered to be from €10 to €12 million. Under the agreement, WIELTON SA was to buy 65.31% of Fruehauf’s shares at once with the possibility to acquire the rest of the shares (34.69%) at the end of 2017.
Fruehauf is known as one of the leading manufacturers of trailers and semi-trailers. It is especially popular in France with 44% market share in the trailer segment. This American-based company with a German name produces up-to-date quality semi-trailers, despite some difficult moments in the company history. The brand lived through a hard time in the 90s and a fairly possible prospect of finishing the business in 2009.
This agreement has given an opportunity for the recently formed WIELTON GROUP to reach the position of the third-biggest semi-trailer manufacturer in Europe. The GROUP’s productive capacity numbers 11,000 units per year and an annual turnover is estimated at the amount of more than €250 million.
As it was conceived, the strategic cooperation between WIELTON and Fruehauf should radically change the European market representation in the trailer segment. Fruehauf is the leading trailer brand in France, while WIELTON is the largest trailer manufacturer in Poland. According to Andrzej Szczepek, President of the Board of Management at WIELTON SA, the two jointmodern factories, the united engineering and technical teams, the collaborative efforts of the new group of companies, as well as their market positions, provide significant prospects in the sphere of innovations and production. As a result, these prospects are expected to increase the joint group’s competitive edge and guarantee the third position in the rating of the European trailer manufacturers.
It is known to date, that the first joint developments entail the production of curtainsider and tipper semi-trailers, the launch of which is scheduled for the second half of 2018. The new series will be labelled as “Fruehauf Wielton Maxispeed” (after the name of the model, introduced by Fruehauf in 2007).The payload range will start from 15 tonnes. As for axle configurations, it is planned to produce 2, 3 and 4-axle units. For the purpose of fuel economy and tire wear reduction, the focus of the design is on its lightness. Besides, special attention is paid to safe operation of the trailers. On that account, the technological project involves seamless jointsand unique solutions, used in the production of the frame.