ElringKlinger AG

Research & Development

Among other things, ElringKlinger’s corporate philosophy involves being close to the customer, spotting trends early, and helping to actively shape new solutions. To this end, the Group invests a substantial amount in research and development every year - around 5% of its revenue. Deployed in a targeted manner, this capital expenditure underpins the strong competitive position enjoyed by the ElringKlinger Group.

Research and development ratio at 5.1 %
In response to the far-reaching process of transformation in the automotive industry, ElringKlinger is focusing its research and development (R&D) activities primarily on solutions for alternative drive technologies. In 2021, R&D spending (including capitalized development costs) came  to EUR 82.1 million (2020: EUR 76.1 million). This corresponds to an R&D ratio of 5.1% (2020: 5.1%). Out of this total, the amount capatalized was EUR 17.2 million (2020: EUR 12.4 million), giving a capitalization ratio of 21.0% (2020: 16.2%). Amortization of capitalized development costs amounted to EUR 4.2 million in the financial year 2021 (2020: EUR 12.8 million).

Key figures R&D 2021 2020   2019 2018 2017 2016
R&D costs (in EUR million)1 82.1 76.1 80.8 87.2 75.9 74.8
R&D ratio1 5.1 % 5.1 % 4.7 % 5.1 % 4.6 % 4.8 %
Capitalization ratio2 21.0 % 16.2 % 20.7 % 12.7 % 5.9 % 9.9 %

1 Including capitalized development costs
2 Capitalized development costs in relation to R&D costs, including capitalized development costs

Number of R&D staff in FY 2021

The ElringKlinger Group has established a strong culture of innovation. The company's R&D activities are highly centralized to avoid any loss of expertise. For this reason, the parent company has concentrated its development activities both in Germany - at its own sites and that of its subsidiary ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik GmbH - and at the Group's US plant in Southfield, Michigan. The number of employees working in R&D as of December 31, 2021, stood at 591, compared with the 2020 year-end-figure of 623.

New patent applications above previous year’s level

ElringKlinger always seeks legal protection for new developments at both product and process level. The centralized patents department is tasked with protecting the company's technological expertise and intellectual property rights. In 2021, it applied for 105 new patents (2019: 86), the majority in strategic fields of the future.