Kohler Engines’ Marketing Communications & Channel Management Director Nino De Giglio welcomed us in Reggio Emilia and answered quite a lot of questions about the company’s resilience to the pandemic outbreak as well as some very important organizational and managerial changes within the global player with an Italian soul and an American head. The following is an excerpt of the long chat with Nino De Giglio and Gianluca Paini, Director Diesel Plant Manufacturing. The full article is here, from page 24.
Nino De Giglio, Kohler, starting with hybrids
«The technical management is looking ahead to search for new products and read market trends», De Giglio reveals. «These days, K-HEM (Kohler Hybrid Energy Module) our hybrid proposal launched at Bauma 2019 is enjoying great popularity, both in its internal combustion – based, 19 kW version KDW 1003 as well as in the KDI-based 56 kW 2504TCR. We see parallel hybrids as a definitely attractive, suitable solution for those units whose duty-cycle is compatible with such system; I’m thinking for example aerial platforms, front-loaders, biogrinders. Jointly with a few clients, we’re applying ourselves (a term that is as clear as it is two-fold, in the engine makers’ and OEMs’ jargon – editor’s note) to designing the hybrid system for specific types of machinery. As for power, we’re oriented to two ratings based on emission standard. FOCS 1003 – up to 19 kW – has no DPF and gets the boost it needs from the electric section; the 56 kW 2504TCR, that does have a DPF, allows us to avoid installing an SCR. Since EIMA 2018, OEMs have been opening their doors to hybrids, but it will take time for this solution to be fully digested by the market. We’re ready, insofar as we’re meeting the guidelines from OEMs».
The market response
As in some sort of Pavlov’s conditioned response, we ask him what market guidelines he thinks are consistent with – though not totally overlapping – those of OEMs, taking into account that some of the latter played for time when faced with regulatory ultimatums, or rejected them altogether. «The market is responding well to the 19 kW issue, as I have said earlier, it’s a power segment that’s regarded as the proverbial “Pillars of Hercules” for the DPF. The crucial threshold of 25 kW might prompt the industrial segment to steer towards hybrids for this threshold and for others that show criticalities emission-wise. That’s a trend that voices the need to resize the power ratings between 20 and 25 kW, and we won’t turn a deaf ear to it».
We have no chance to sneak a peek at what’s going on at Kohler, but the company is a global, multifaceted entity in the process of redesigning its architecture and departmental functions. It has all been bubbling in the same cauldron, and it’s not just about a cosmetic change of name.
New management composition
Let’s pick up here. «Vincenzo Perrone was appointed president of the entire engine group in the widest sense of the term. Which includes petrol engines, the ones for which competition with electric engines is tougher. Kohler’s engine offer could open up to other technologies, not limited to internal combustion. At present, such a strategy takes the form of hybridisation. As for the future, you won’t have to wait too long to see».
So, let’s muzzle our curiosity and move on in our tour of Kohler’s reorganized structure. «Vincenzo Perrone is at the lead of Kohler Engines and reports to Brian Melka, President of Kohler Power Group, supervising engines and gensets. We set up a single steering committee which includes five global positions both for products and markets and three levels for sales, with regional competence. Massimiliano Bonanni is the General Manager of Product Strategy, which combines the technical management for diesel and petrol engines, R&D included, as well as the departments of product marketing, pricing strategy and product development. This reorganization brought a new area to the fore, that of Marketing communications & channel management, of which I myself am in charge. It’s about client-targeted activities aimed to push sales with a bottom-up approach by means of the so-called channel managers».