The recipe for success in the crisis: TMD Friction focuses on capacity expansion rather than cutbacks

To ensure that the core business of workshops does not hit the brakes even in difficult times, brake specialist TMD Friction is ensuring smooth supply chains and optimum availability
of its entire product range.

Leverkusen, March 25th, 2021 – The year 2020 and the Corona crisis have taken their toll on many automotive aftermarket suppliers. Brake pads & linings manufacturer TMD Friction, one of the leading providers of brake technology for original equipment and the spare parts market, nevertheless has good news to report: strategic decisions, a high level of supply chain transparency and flexible structures, especially in production and warehousing have, in the course of the year, almost fully compensated for the losses caused by the first “lockdown” in spring.

TMD Friction in fact registered the strongest quarter in the company’s history from January to March of 2020, thanks to strong sales across the board in all regions, even though the downturn began as early as mid-March.

“We were very much on track and would certainly have had a record year if it hadn’t been for the pandemic” emphasises Clément de Valon, Executive Vice President Independent Aftermarket at TMD Friction. “As a premium manufacturer, we also provide premium service. Among other things, this means product quality as well as high delivery reliability and product availability. Our size allows us a degree of operational freedom and flexibility that some of our competitors do not enjoy. 2020 showed us that our flexible structures were one of the most important factors in successfully mastering the crisis.”

TMD Friction already set up an internal task force back in mid-February when the crisis in Asia was only beginning to take shape. All the relevant roles and departments worldwide were involved in this undertaking. One of the success factors was flexibility, with the declared objective being to regularly reassess the situation as well as make decisions quickly and at an early stage.

“Our key to success was the ability to deliver continuously. We monitored the changing demands of the industry and our customers‘ needs and were able to quickly adapt our supply chain processes to meet these requirements. When customer demand rebounded in the summer, we were one of the first to get off the starting blocks to supply our customers straight away. Unlike many competitors, we deliberately avoided cutting staff and reducing our production capacities, which was precisely the right decision, both for our employees and the success of our company,” explains Christian Stange, Vice President Supply Chain and Managing Director of TMD Friction Services GmbH.

State-of-the-art central warehouse as the basis for success
The basic precondition for the important task of ensuring continuous product availability is a stable and reliable warehouse. TMD Friction has been operating a state-of-the-art central warehouse covering 14,000 square meters in two halls at the Leverkusen-Hitdorf site since the end of 2017. Over 100 employees ensure that everything runs smoothly. TMD Friction products such as Textar, Mintex and DON are stored, picked and shipped to customers around the world from here.

An employee rotation system was introduced very quickly in the warehouse at the beginning of the pandemic and care was taken to ensure that the different shifts did not come into contact with each other. This both protects the personal health of the employees and ensures that the warehouse does not have to be completely shut down in case of infection.

A change in management took place at the Leverkusen central warehouse on 1 March 2021: Guido Künzel, previously responsible for external warehousing in the aftermarket, succeeded Klaus Meves as Senior Manager Distribution Network, who left the company at his own request to take on new challenges.

“I am very grateful for the outstanding groundwork that Klaus Meves has done and am taking over his role at a very stable and robust warehouse. My new challenges are to maintain the flexibility and agility of the warehouse going forward, continue to ensure employee safety as well as customer satisfaction, and expand the digital infrastructure,” says Guido Künzel, Senior Manager Distribution Network at TMD Friction.

Flexible structures, a state-of-the-art central warehouse and a high level of supply chain transparency are the main pillars that will enable brake specialist TMD Friction to look ahead with optimism also in the coming months.

Caption 1: TMD Friction_Central Warehouse.jpg
Photo: With its modern European central warehouse in Leverkusen-Hitdorf, TMD Friction has created the basic precondition for ensuring the continuous availability of its products even during the Corona pandemic.
Caption 2: TMD Friction_Clément de Valon.jpg
Photo: Clément de Valon is the Executive Vice President Independent Aftermarket at TMD Friction./h6>

Caption 3: TMD Friction_Christian Stange.jpg
Photo: Christian Stange is both Vice President Global Supply Chain Management in the Independent Aftermarket at TMD Friction and Managing Director of TMD Friction Services GmbH./h6>
Caption 4: TMD Friction_Guido Künzel.jpg
Photo: Guido Künzel has been responsible for the European central warehouse in Leverkusen as Senior Manager Distribution Network at TMD Friction since March 2021.
Copyright TMD Friction, 2021. Free reprint permitted provided source is acknowledged. We kindly ask that a specimen copy be sent to us.
Caption 2: TMD Friction Group logo. (Source and Copyright TMD Friction)
Photo: Reproduction permitted free of charge provided source is cited. Please send us a specimen copy.

TMD Friction, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nisshinbo Holdings Inc., is a leading global manufacturer of brake pads for the automotive and brake industries. In addition to disc and drum brake linings for cars and commercial vehicles, the company’s product portfolio includes brake pads for motor racing and friction materials for the industry. TMD Friction supplies the worldwide aftermarket with the Textar, Mintex, Don, Pagid, Cobreq, Nisshinbo and Bendix brands. TMD Friction also develops and produces friction linings for the industry under the Cosid brand name. The TMD Friction Group has four locations in Germany and others in Europe, the USA, Brazil, Mexico, China and Japan, and employs 4,500 people worldwide.

Further information is available at

Contact TMD Friction Group

Christian Bosowski
Corporate Communications
TMD Friction Holdings GmbH, Schlebuscher Straße 99, 51381 Leverkusen, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)2171 501 9927

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