LIQUI MOLY confidently on course for a billion
The two managing directors Günter Hiermaier and Dr. Uli Weller are very satisfied with the annual result. Further investments of more than 20 million euro at the German locations in Ulm and Saarlouis are intended to strengthen production and logistics.
“Our goal is to achieve a turnover of one billion euro in 2025. It looks like we’ll make it a year earlier,” says Günter Hiermaier confidently. His colleague Dr. Weller, who has also been Managing Director of the Ulm-based company for a year now, is equally positive about 2023: “The general conditions were extremely poor. We were hit hard by energy prices, logistics costs and inflation. We cannot and do not want to pass on the increased costs 1:1 to our customers. We are left with the lion’s share of the price increases. The only thing that helps is to make savings where it doesn’t hurt anyone and to sell more -- worldwide.” LIQUI MOLY is apparently doing this well. Production and sales volumes are increasing. “We have reached our capacity limit in additive production. More than 18.5 million cans came off the production line in Ulm. Our expansion of production will provide relief here. We are planning 22 million cans in 2024,” says Günter Hiermaier. Oil production in Saarlouis is also almost at its limit. “Investments worth millions are helping us to increase production volumes,” reports Dr. Weller. In 2023, the oil plant in Saarlouis produced over nine percent more than in 2022 with a good 94,000 tons of lubricants. Motor oils accounted for the largest share, followed by transmission oils. “Our filling systems for small containers are reaching their capacity limits with these quantities. We have invested heavily here to increase volume output,” says Dr. Weller. In general, the entire capacity limit of the oil plant is in sight. This is 120,000 tons per year. “With constant growth, we would have reached our upper limit in three years if we had not continued to invest in the location,” Dr. Weller continues.
Overall, the lubricant specialist is still on track for growth. “We are maintaining our course of internationalization and strengthening our subsidiaries abroad. We are increasing staff wherever necessary. In 2023, we created around 50 jobs, which corresponds to a boost of 5 percent,” Günter Hiermaier explains. According to the company’s philosophy, the co-entrepreneurs (as employees at LIQUI MOLY are traditionally called) should be as well off as possible. In addition to the introduction of flexible working hours and mobile working wherever possible, additional financial benefits have been implemented for all 1104 employees. “We paid the full € 3,000 inflation compensation and voluntarily implemented the collective agreement. This alone has resulted in wage increases of more than 10 percent in production, for example. At the same time, we are giving all our colleagues up to € 3,000 as a share in profit. This also constitutes good practice for us,” says Günter Hiermaier.
The two managing directors are clear on where the journey is heading. “We will continue to grow. The billion mark is not the limit. We have our sights firmly set on the second billion,” both of them say confidently. The homework assignments have already been distributed to all co-entrepreneurs: Strengthening the export business, further digitalization, customer loyalty and product innovations in all areas, electric vehicles included. The latter is particularly important for the European market. ”Sales of motor oils and additives are likely to decline within the EU over the next two decades. Internationally, e-mobility plays a minor role. Nevertheless, we want to be strong as a brand in the EU, which is why we will continue to develop our existing range for electric and hybrid vehicles,” reports Dr. Uli Weller.
Günter Hiermaier emphasizes that “we are driving forward internationally what has made us strong in Germany. And that’s our excellent personal service. Our competitors are making massive job cuts in this area. We are stepping up our headcount and, with a concentrated sales force, entering markets that are as yet untapped. You can see from our subsidiaries that this strategy is working.”
The company enjoys the full backing of its parent company Würth in all its endeavours. “We continue to operate independently. The Central Management Board trusts and strengthens us in our path. Our cooperation is based on mutual respect. We and all our co-entrepreneurs see ourselves as LIQUI MOLY. This is central to our self-image, our team spirit and our strong brand,” says Günter Hiermaier.