Exclusive Interview with Sören Bergner from FUCHS Lubricants
Thursday, 12 October 2023
Q1) What is your role at Fuchs?
I am the Director OEM Key Accounts for FUCHS Lubricants, Co. My team manages our biggest OEM accounts as well as tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers in the automotive industry.
Q2) You have been with Fuchs for over 5 years, in that time how much has the lubricant industry changed?
The lubricants industry is constantly changing and obviously has done so during the last 5 years as well – maybe more than during any time before. With the electrification of vehicles and all the ensuing effects coming with it, I believe that the industry faces more uncertainty than ever. This is a threat to established players but also a chance for other companies. Every lubricant company is currently challenged to future-proof their business model for the next decades.
Q3) The lubricant industry is facing a challenge to become more sustainable and Fuchs claim to be ‘continuously reducing our ecological footprint’. What is the true cost of these changes to Fuchs and how does the company balance these with the need to change?
FUCHS’ clearly defined goal is to become a fully climate-neutral company by 2040. Giving an exact estimate of the true cost to achieve this is impossible, especially as the main challenge we face is that 90% of emissions attributable to us are already incurred when the raw materials arrive at our premises. More importantly, though, the cost of not becoming a climate-neutral company would exceed those of becoming one by far. No matter if driven by regulators or by customers, being a sustainable company will be a prerequisite to do business. And the better we can not only achieve the goal ourselves but are able to help our customers in doing the same, the more it will become a valuable differentiator for FUCHS.
Q4) Some industries that use lubricants are going through major changes, driven by technological innovation such as electric vehicles and robotics. How much does this innovation affect the requirements for lubricants and how does a company like Fuchs keep up with where these industries are going?
Technological developments are indeed happening at an unprecedented speed, and they are related to a high degree of uncertainty about what the applications will ultimately look like. It is therefore even more important than before to be in constant exchange with the customers about their projects and innovations. FUCHS has a long tradition of being a technology partner for customers rather than “just a lubricants supplier”. Our R&D spending is unmatched in the industry. I therefore believe that FUCHS is better equipped to master the technology-related uncertainty that lubricant companies and their customers are currently facing.
Q5) As a member of the advisory board for Lubricant Expo North America, how do you think the show can help Fuchs and its customers?
The Lubricants Expo is a perfect venue to build relationships with existing customers and suppliers as well as with new ones. It is a rare opportunity to have so many industry leaders under the same roof. FUCHS as a technology leader always welcomes the opportunity to share and discuss the latest trends and developments. I believe it is essential to position us as a company but also the industry as a whole for the future.