Thursday, September 22nd, 2022, Sint-Truiden: Punch Powertrain is celebrating its 50-year milestone at a ceremony attended by the company’s China-based shareholders and distinguished guests, including Lydia Peeters, Flanders Minister for Mobility and Public Works. During his speech, CEO Jorge Solis reflected on the company’s history and its recent ambitious transformation trajectory. Assessing the company’s current position amid the industry’s shift towards electrification, he revealed the strategy for the near future, announcing several strategic decisions and new partnerships.
Punch Powertrain’s story starts with its legacy as inventor of continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) upon the foundation of DAF Produktie Sint-Truiden in 1972. 50 years later, however, the company has emerged as a multinational business with a wide product portfolio, consisting of dual clutch transmissions, electrified and electric power transmission technologies.
Immediately after the arrival of new CEO Jorge Solis in October 2019, he set in motion a bold transformation plan: “Gear up for the future 2.0”. This transformation path lasts from 2020-2023, and is aimed at establishing an organization, innovation power and culture that can support the expansion of the company’s portfolio and the accelerating move from conventional to hybrid and electric technologies.
Punch Powertrain aims to propel its growth on the basis of four drivers: expansion into new technology segments, expansion into new geographic markets, driving product innovation and establishing a partnership ecosystem. In order to guarantee customer satisfaction and secure the company’s position as a technology leader, the company is committed to excellence in execution in an affordable and cost-effective way.
In line with this, the company’s proprietary dual clutch technology – DT1 – was launched in early 2022. This will be followed shortly by the production launch of the next generation DCT – mild and plug-in hybrid variants of DT2 – in November. This unique dual clutch technology will be launched within the framework of two joint ventures with the launch customer – Stellantis.
Driven by its transformational strategy, and in line with collaborations announced in the recent past, Punch Powertrain’s future will continue in the spirit of partnership. Today the company is revealing two additional partnership expansions, by means of dedicated press releases.
Specifically, TATA AutoComp and Punch Powertrain have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a 50/50 joint venture. The aim of the new company will be to supply the revolutionary compact dual clutch transmission – DT1 – in India and to global markets, as well as to localize the production of Punch Powertrain’s portfolio in the Indian market. This step opens up additional opportunities for the company with Tata Motors and other local car makers.
Furthermore, the company is expanding its strategic partnership with Stellantis and is adding a second assembly location for its breakthrough hybrid DCT – DT2. Under a previous agreement, the initial 600,000 units per year will be assembled in Metz, France. The additional assembly location in Mirafiori, Italy, will increase the total assembly capacity to some 1.2 million transmissions per year. This means additional volume for key component production at the company’s Sint-Truiden location.
A third important announcement reflects the creation of a distinct legal entity in Belgium that will incorporate all Punch Powertrain EV-related activities. This decisive step is taken in line with the company’s vision to form strategic partnerships and build an expertise ecosystem. The company anticipates attracting a partner for its EV activities, thus increasing its investing power to spearhead development in this field.
Today, CVT accounts for the majority of the sales, mainly originating in Asia. With DT1 growth driven by India and DT2 becoming the main product line in Europe, Punch Powertrain is aiming to transform its business from nearly 100% conventional mobility in 2019 to 90% electrified and electric drives in 2025, with a total estimated business value of over 2.2 billion euros by 2025.
With multiple new technology launches and entries into new markets, 2022 is truly an exceptional and crucial year in the company’s history.