The UK’s Thermal Management Solutions Group was formed to take advantage of the global growth in electrified vehicles, as new global automotive technology has created an influx of new opportunities; the most important being the facilitation of engine development from internal combustion (ICE) to hybrid, battery-electric (BEV) and, further down the line, fuel-cell vehicles.
Automotive leaders around the world are having to completely rethink business frameworks, phasing out ICE vehicles for the new era of transport. This means huge disruptions, from redesigned production lines to new research and development strategies.
Thermal Management Solutions combines a pool of technical experience and delivers exceptional global market position and depth to provide both existing and new customers and suppliers with numerous advantages in navigating these exciting times in the automotive sector.
The company is focused on thermostat products, switching fluids and cooling products for EVs, with a presence across Asia, Europe and the Americas. This swift expansion of such a young company is the result of the formation of two merger and acquisition processes in the UK and Germany, between Caresian Capital Group and Arlington Industries Thermal Management Solutions.
The transaction combined the thermal management division of the former Arlington Group with three leading thermostat brands, consisting of Dauphinoise Thomson, Magal and Wahler.
To find out more, Auto Futures sits down with Paddy Lange, Vice President of Global Engineering and Sales at Thermal Management Solutions Group.
“We are combining a heritage company profile with a start-up mentality and new focus,” he explains. “The original brands were not solely focused on thermal solutions, but we now have a newly-formed company with the agility of a medium-sized company.”
Although it is technically a new organisation, there is a lot of expertise and experience within Thermal Management Solutions, including strong relationships with almost all global OEMs, providing a beneficial launch pad for the newly-founded company.
New Market. New Entrants. New Challenges
The catalyst for the creation of Thermal Management Solutions is, of course, the rapidly evolving automotive industry, with many identifying an ‘EV tipping point’ in the coming years. Many automakers around the world, including many new players, are shifting their focus over to electrification to meet new consumer demands and environmental goals.
Lange and his team understand that the industry is now looking for bespoke engineering companies that can identify a solution to this transition, as it is no longer about providing an off-the-shelf package for global OEMs with large vehicle line ups.
“We engineer to the customer’s requirements,” says Lange. “ICE vehicles are still 80-90% of our business in terms of volume, as this is also the same case for many OEMs. The sales figures for EVs are still dwarfed by petrol and diesel vehicles. However, this is rapidly changing thanks to the changing mindset of governments and consumers.”
If you ignore the likes of Tesla, the jump from ICE to BEV is almost impossible, with many automakers having to explore the path of hybridisation.
This allows them to introduce electrification into the production line but still follow a somewhat similar production line.
“In terms of EVs, I don’t know anyone as advanced as Tesla, as they didn’t have to go through a transition,” adds Lange. “Yes, they may have had some manufacturing challenges, but they overcame this very quickly and are now valued as one of the most successful OEMs in the world.
“Our offering in the hybrid space is beneficial to those who are making the transitions, as the ICE vehicle remains. We understand what cooling is required for such things as power electronics and regenerative braking,” explains Lange.
Thermal Management Solutions has the expertise with regards to testing, prototyping and simulation, utilising its new lease of agility and focus. There are many different requirements for automakers, whether that is a Chinese automaker who wants fully electric vehicles or a European automaker who wants to bridge the gap to BEV with hybrids. Thermal Management Solutions is able to assist, whatever the situation.
“We’ve entered a very exciting space, where the old traditional ways of doing propulsions have almost gone,” says Lange.
“No one is putting money into ICE anymore; we will see an extension of existing programmes to bridge the investment gap and cater for hesitant customers, but these companies understand that, once the technology improves and the cost comes down, electric vehicles will take off around the world,” he concludes.