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Clarton Horn S.A.
The Spanish company is one of the leading global producers of horns for the automotive industry. In 2009, Robert Bosch GmbH sold off its subsidiary Clarton Horn S.A. in a carve-out, selling a 100% stake in the medium-sized business from Andalusia to Quantum Group.
The new investors recognised the opportunities and potential of what had once been the world’s second-largest car horn manufacturer: Clarton Horn was manufacturing quality products for global customers, and had access to growing markets such as India and Taiwan.
- Situation before the takeover: decreasing profits, underutilized workforce and mood of crisis
- Key measures after takeover: increase production, innovate product line and develop highly-skilled R&D and sales teams
- Situation upon resale: significant increase in sales with return to sustainable profitability
Solution: measures after the takeover
QCP’s strategic focus was on rapid restructuring at Clarton Horn and establishing its long-term position as an independent company on the global market. QCP implemented the following measures:
- Invested in a new SAP system
- Launched Quantum Production Management System which achieved a 20% increase in productivity
- Invested in a new R&D department to focus on product innovation
- Developed a European sales team
- Developed an electronic car horn
High-performance car horns for Asian markets
The company invested in a new R&D department to drive product innovation. Developers then focused on creating an electronic car horn to meet the needs of Asian markets where horns are in constant use.
In 2012, Clarton Horn presented the very first such product at the IZB exhibition in Wolfsburg: the EC10-RD. Thanks to robust electronic components and sturdy mechanics, the horn can withstand two million blasts. Add a compact and waterproof trumpet horn design and great sound, and it’s easy to see why this robust horn is now a standard feature in a number of leading manufacturers’ cars.
Strong support – satisfied customers
Clarton Horn took another step towards restructuring and establishing the business by expanding its international customer support and customer service departments. The company now advised car manufacturers on the technical application, modification and optimisation of horn systems. The focus was now on the customer’s specific vehicle.
Clarton Horn creates horn mock-ups as a tool for vehicle engineers right from the early stages of the development process. Product safety and quality was now monitored using an internationally certified quality management system.
Situation at resale
All these measures achieved a sustainable turnaround for Clarton Horn within just a year of the takeover.
- Sales in 2013: EUR 38m
- EBITDA in 2013: EUR 2.8m
- Re-established good relations with the trade unions
In 2013, Quantum Group sold 100% of its stake in the company to the car component manufacturer Minda Industries.