Challenging macro-economic and geopolitical climate:
DEKRA Positioned for the Future Thanks to Focus on Safety, Security and Sustainability
DEKRA is managing to successfully withstand the economic and political upheaval in the crisis-ridden year 2022. The global expert organization expects to achieve sales of almost 3.7 billion euros this year, an increase of about 5%. “Thanks to our strong market position and the ongoing trend for greater safety, security, and sustainability, we remain on our growth target,” said Stan Zurkiewicz, who has been DEKRA CEO and Chairman of the Management Board since April 2022. The focus is on leveraging opportunities for growth in areas with great potential going forward, such as future mobility, cyber security, and sustainability. For the DEKRA boss, one particular area of interest will be the creation of a hydrogen economy. “If we want to accelerate the transition towards a hydrogen-based future, we will need to step up investments in hydrogen infrastructure and establish a comprehensive regulatory framework to assure safe adoption of the technology,” explains Zurkiewicz. “Then green hydrogen will be able to play a key role in combating climate change thanks to its wide range of potential applications.” The DEKRA CEO is also aiming to realize the digital transformation of DEKRA’s service portfolio, all while ensuring customers’ needs are placed front and center. This is how the expert organization will become the global partner for a safe, secure, and sustainable world.
- Automated and connected driving: further investment at the Lausitzring test facility
- Renewable energies: new photovoltaic lab opened in China
- E-mobility: fast battery test patented and launched on the market
- Cyber security: leading technology companies join customer base
- Vehicle inspection business: expansion continues with entry into Spanish and Costa Rican market
- Hydrogen: support for launch of first truck rental fleet and BMW consumption test
DEKRA is continuing to expand the range of services it offers, focusing on the issues of energy transition, the circular economy and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). For example, this year test, certification, inspection, expert, and training services have been developed and refined for the energy transition technologies, in particular for hydrogen, photovoltaics, wind power and batteries. Alongside this, DEKRA is developing services which will help firms, financial service providers, and investors to check the implementation and review of sustainability strategies. “By doing this we will provide more clarity, transparency and trust amongst the market participants”, reported Zurkiewicz.
New powertrain technologies, in combination with digitalization and new mobility solutions, are set to transform areas such as our vehicle inspection business over the medium to long term. For the DEKRA boss, this brings with it more opportunities than risks. DEKRA is investing to further expand their range of services as well as their testing expertise. For instance, the expert organization patented a fast test for the traction batteries in used electric vehicles (EVs), positioning the company at the cutting edge in this field. Within just 15 minutes this test provides an accurate value for the battery’s remaining capacity (known as its State of Health). This helps DEKRA to create transparency in the growing used EV market where the battery’s remaining capacity is a key factor affecting the value.
At our Arnhem site, a new open-air test facility for measuring the electromagnetic compatibility of large vehicles such as electric buses or electric trucks was inaugurated in 2022. In Klettwitz, a test rig for electric motors and drive axles went into operation. On behalf of the California Energy Commission, DEKRA has set up a Vehicle-Grid Innovation Laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks to the lab's services, the interoperability of the charging infrastructure will be improved, and secure Vehicle-to-Grid solutions can be introduced. "The new lab in California has been built to the same standard as our world-leading lab in the Netherlands. As such, we are well placed to generate further growth in the U.S.," explained the DEKRA CEO.
With regards to cyber security, DEKRA is reaping the benefits of the high demand from industry, particularly from the automotive sector. However, DEKRA’s testing expertise in internet-enabled consumer products (as part of the Internet of Things) has enabled it to expand its business with leading technology and platform companies in 2022. For example, manufacturers of products for Amazon, Apple, and Google now regularly use DEKRA’s services to validate their products and applications.
According to market studies, investments in green hydrogen technologies and projects will amount to an estimated 150 billion euros by 2030 - i.e. production, application technologies, components and infrastructure. It is estimated that the market for the TIC industry (Testing, Inspection, Certification) will be worth around one billion euros by 2030. For example, DEKRA is already working on upcoming test standards for high-pressure gas pipelines and has already qualified some pipelines for hydrogen in Germany. DEKRA is also able to approve H2 filling stations according to "HRS Conformity"
The investments DEKRA makes in digitalizing its services go beyond cyber security and automotive services. This investment also plays an important role in other Corporate Focus Areas, such as remote services for industrial facilities. “The use of digital technology means that testing personnel no longer have to work in hazardous environments which are cramped, toxic, or have a potentially explosive atmosphere,” explained Stan Zurkiewicz. Nowadays, such tasks can be carried out by remote-controlled robots equipped with sturdy cameras, for example in nuclear power plants in Scandinavia. This is complemented by digital inspection solutions for industrial facilities, using sensor data that is recorded continuously and enables online monitoring. The same principle is also used to monitor air quality in real time.
One highlight of 2022 was our entry into the periodic vehicle inspection market in Costa Rica. From a total of eleven bidders the government of the Central American country chose DEKRA to operate its vehicle inspection program. “It makes us proud and underlines our position as the global market leader,” said Stan Zurkiewicz of the successful contract award. With the addition of Costa Rica, DEKRA now carries out vehicle inspections in 24 countries, five of them on the American continent. DEKRA will initially operate the national “Inspección Técnica Vehicular” vehicle inspection program for two years, with their 450 employees inspecting around two million vehicles annually. DEKRA has also been performing vehicle inspections in Spain since the middle of 2022. Now with the addition of Costa Rica, the number of inspections conducted annually by DEKRA across the globe will increase to over 30 million. Revenue from vehicle inspections, DEKRA’s largest business segment, is expected to increase by 4% to 1.3 billion euros in 2022.
Safety and security are basic needs for everyone, all across the globe – particularly in times of crisis. “We take our mission to provide safety, security, and sustainability very seriously,” said Stan Zurkiewicz. DEKRA will therefore continue to work in a focused and disciplined manner on implementing its Strategy 2025 in the coming months. Despite a difficult and challenging environment, the DEKRA Chairman believes that the expert organization will also continue to grow in 2023. However, he is expecting sales growth in the low-to-mid single digits. The war in Ukraine and the resulting geopolitical tensions, soaring energy prices, and high inflation are all putting pressure on global economic activity and will cause a recession in several markets.