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Offensive for more digital safety

In 2018, international expert organization DEKRA increased its revenue to EUR 3.3 billion with a staff headcount of nearly 45,200. The international business has continued its positive development and has now reached EUR 1.3 billion. The company considers itself on course for growth for the 16th year running, and is expecting annual growth of between 4 and 6%. Highlights of the first few months of the financial year include the opening of the first inspection station in China and the Trust Center initiative that DEKRA has launched in Germany together with other testing organizations for the entire industry, to enable it to effectively perform its official inspection tasks in the data-driven and connected world of the future.

Annual Report 2018

Thanks to ongoing globalization and a good position in upcoming sectors, DEKRA successfully expanded its services for safety on the road, at work and at home. Stefan Kölbl, CEO at DEKRA explains: “Our international expansion was marked by strategic acquisitions and a targeted expansion of expertise. With an increase in turnover of 6.6% and 1,000 new employees, we are solidifying our position as the largest unlisted expert organization in the world.”

Vehicle inspections across the globe

A few weeks ago, DEKRA opened its first inspection station for passenger cars in Shenzhen, China. A second one in Beijing is under construction and will open in the second half of the year. The Shenzhen station will have a capacity of 50,000 vehicles per year, compared to 180,000 in Beijing, where trucks and buses will be inspected as well. DEKRA CEO Stefan Kölbl: “Beijing is where we are building the largest DEKRA station in the world.”

From the point of view of DEKRA, China offers a glimpse into the future of vehicle inspections. The vehicle inspection of the future will be data-driven. This is why together with other inspection organizations DEKRA has launched the Trust Center initiative. Using a non-manufacturer-affiliated platform, vehicle data will be saved and passed on to inspection organizations in accordance with clearly defined criteria. All in all, DEKRA has continued to consolidate its standing as market leader, conducting 26 million vehicle inspections across the world.

Connected and automated driving

DEKRA’s international test network allows for a comprehensive range of services for automated and connected driving. At the Lausitzring racetrack, Europe’s largest independent test track for automated and connected driving, DEKRA and Deutsche Telekom will offer the automotive industry a test area based on 5G technology. 5G tests with carrier Telefónica are taking place at the test environment in Málaga. In addition, the laboratory at the DEKRA Technology Center, close to the Lausitzring, is currently undergoing expansion for millions of euros.

Industrial services on track for expansion

Thanks to ongoing globalization and a good position in up-and-coming sectors, DEKRA also successfully expanded its business in industrial services. The company’s position as a safety consultant to oil and gas, chemical, and pharmaceutical companies made strides thanks to the acquisition of the Industrial Safety Group in the Netherlands.

In response to market requirements, a laboratory was opened in Shanghai dedicated specifically to testing risks of chemical processes, known as chemical reaction hazard (CRH). In Japan, DEKRA was recognized as a certification body for testing products used in areas at risk of explosion. Finally, a laboratory was opened in Shanghai dedicated specifically to test chemical reaction hazards (CRH). 

DEKRA now also supports medical technology companies with the certification of their products according to the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MSDAP), a crucial program to market devices in Australia, Japan, Brazil, Canada and the US. Kölbl: “We attracted more new customers in 2018 thanks to our global position. We now operate in all key markets, from medical technologies to energy infrastructures and e-mobility to network technologies.”

Positive outlook for 2019

In 2018, DEKRA laid the foundations to ensure successful growth for the 16th year in 2019, despite more challenging global economic conditions. “The global safety megatrend remains essentially intact. As an innovative international solutions provider, DEKRA will do everything in its power to enhance safety in traditional and digital markets,” said Kölbl.

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