A History of MAHLE Motorsport


In the early 1920’s in Germany, Hermann and Ernst Mahle started working for a small German piston manufacturer.  Not long after, Hermann became the company’s commercial manager while Ernst found success as MAHLE’s engineering manager.  The two were the company’s sole owners by 1933, and they eventually renamed the company MAHLE KG in 1938.  Years later in 1964, the brothers transferred 99.9 percent of the ownership over to the MAHLE Foundation.  More recently in 2007, MAHLE acquired the Dana Engine Parts business, including the Clevite Divison, and created the foundation for a successful future in the North American Aftermarket.

Today, MAHLE ranks among the top three automotive systems suppliers worldwide in the areas of engine systems, filtration, electrics/mechatronics, and thermal management.  They also provide products in the original equipment industry, including technologically innovative solutions for automotive, commercial vehicle, machinery, an other industrial applications.  Their Aftermarket business unit also serves the independent parts market with MAHLE products in OE quality.

As of 2014, MAHLE has a presence in all major world markets  generating over $13 billion in sales and employs over 66,000 employees at approximately 150 production locations.  More than 4,500 development engineers and technicians are working on forward-look concepts, products, and systems at ten major research and development centers in Germany, Great Britain, the USA, Brazil, Japan, China, and India.

#36 MAHLE ring group
#36 MAHLE Ring Group

The North America performance presence is mostly centered around pistons, piston rings, and engine bearings.  Three key MAHLE manufacturing facilities in North America support the OE, aftermarket, and motorsports business.  The Morristown, TN piston plant manufactures over one million pistons per month, including the MAHLE Motorsports parts used at virtually every racing event in the world.  Over nine million piston rings are produced each month in St. Johns. MI.  MAHLE’s steel ring expertise and experience is second to none, and includes a substantial racing and performance product line.  Atlantic, Iowa is home to the MAHLE engine bearing plant, making Clevite’s well-known racing bearings.  All Clevite bearings come from this plant, as well as a substantial share of heavy duty OE engine bearings for North American manufacturers.

MAHLE places importance on conservation and the environment as it works to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions of vehicles, and their related components, with an aggressive time frame.  This takes a lot of effort in powertrain engineering, always individually adapted to the technical conditions of the respective markets.  Therefore, MAHLE places great value on global technological leadership in all business units, and these efforts will increase throughout the coming decades.

GM LT1 Boosted PowerPack
GM LT1 Boosted PowerPack

However, MAHLE represents far more than simply products.  The company is a dedicated core of employees seeking to better the world through sustainability and stable business practices.  The MAHLE Foundation continues to serve many charitable causes promoting healthcare, youth development and welfare, schooling, general adult education and vocational training, as well as such unique areas including organic farming.  The foundation has expanded its area of activity in recent years into medical and social projects in many countries, most notably Brazil.

Dr. Ernst Mahle would certainly be proud of how well his concepts served to revolutionize overall engine technology and the impact his globally significant corporation has on the world today.

For more information about MAHLE Aftermarket and its North American Aftermarket activities, visit www.mahle-aftermarket.com and for MAHLE Motorsports and its North American motorsports activities visit www.mahlemotorsports.com.

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