Interview with 3W-International’s Karsten Schudt
In the past few weeks, 3W-International GmbH has gone through some turbulent times that brought about many new developments and changes, resulting in a very successful Xponential 2018.
Karsten Schudt, Managing Partner at 3W-International GmbH, has now commented on these developments.
In the weeks leading up to the Xponential, there had been many changes around 3W-International: the new production partner Sky Power, new products, new sales staff in Europe and North America, and also a changed presence on the Xponential. How did the market respond to these developments?
Karsten Schudt (KS): There have indeed been many changes in our environment, some intended, some unintended. Nevertheless, the trade show in Denver has shown that our customers understand why we had to implement these changes at our company. For us, the Xponential 2018 has been one of the most successful trade shows in our history. Naturally, some people approached us with questions about what was going on, however, we were able to reassure them that we are well positioned for the future and will continue to be a reliable partner for our customers. The market for propulsion units, in general, is currently on the move.
Are you referring to the filing for insolvency of your supplier 3W-Modellmotoren?
KS: No, not directly. Obviously, this incident prompted some adjustments on our side. However, even here it can be stated that this topic is not really a cause of concern for us as we are well positioned for the future with Sky Power and reliable partners. We do not wish to get involved in all the other speculations around 3W-Modellmotoren as we no longer maintain business relations with the company. But when we look at the market on a larger scale, the insolvency and sale of Hirth was also associated with many changes.
What changes are you referring to exactly?
KS: 3W-International, together with Sky Power, is the last German-owned engine manufacturer. Many new customers contact us precisely since they are looking for a reliable partner who focuses on long-term customer relations. Therefore we expanded the sales area before the trade show, with tangible effects. Nevertheless, our customers also expect technical further developments along the requirements of future markets. With our Engine Kit, which we presented at the trade show for the first time, we have demonstrated that we are more than just a mere engine supplier. The discussions we had with our customers at the trade fair have shown that we are recognised as a manufacturer of complete application-based propulsion units.
After the trade show is before the trade show – which new products will you showcase in Chicago next year?
KS: First and foremost, we have to concentrate on processing and implementing the Sky Power engine line, as well as our Wankel rotary engine projects. Add to this more than 100 enquiries originating from the trade show, which have to be attended to. We are also very busy in the sales area. Moreover, we have set up a development plan for the coming 1.5 years. This means that we will continue to work actively on the further development of each individual engine aiming to make these more efficient and even more reliable. Reducing fuel consumption is the crucial factor in this regard. In addition, our new development department has already come up with some ideas that will be implemented in the coming months. Consequently, we will certainly present new products at the next Xponential – and surely in a less turbulent environment leading up to the trade show.