World market leader for steel pistons for commercial vehicles

Press release [PDF; 29 KB]
Press release [DOC; 41 KB]



Stuttgart, September 2008—In recent decades, MAHLE has become the world’s leading manufacturer of steel pistons for commercial vehicles. The guarantors of this success are several technological milestones that contribute to meeting the continuously increasing requirements for engines.

Currently, all the leading commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world trust MAHLE MONOTHERM® pistons, which are made entirely of steel. Since the turn of the millennium, they have successively replaced the previous technological leader, MAHLE FERROTHERM® pistons, which still had an aluminum piston skirt.

In the next few years, MAHLE will produce about 3.5 million steel pistons each year at various production locations in Asia, Europe, and the USA. The most important European customers are Liebherr, MAN, Renault Truck, Scania, Volvo-Penta, and Volvo Truck. In Asia and the USA, Cummins, Caterpillar, Daimler-Detroit Diesel, FAW-Wuxi Diesel, Hyundai, Mack Truck, Mitsubishi-Fuso, and Navistar, among others, trust the capable and robust MONOTHERM® pistons.

MAHLE is currently working on many other development projects that will optimize MONOTHERM® pistons for the increasing thermal and mechanical loads in the engine. It is already predictable that in order to fulfill the upcoming Euro 6 and US 013 emissions standards for commercial vehicles—at least in the upper power segment—only steel pistons will be used.

That’s not the end of technological development, however. MAHLE has already begun some series development projects with MonoXcomp® pistons, which will fulfill even higher requirements for peak cylinder pressure, temperature resistance, and oil consumption. This technology is a bolted steel piston, consisting of a piston crown, piston skirt, and thrust sleeve—a concept that MAHLE has been using in large engines since the ‘60s.

That’s how far back the tradition of steel pistons goes at MAHLE.
A few important dates:

  • 1960s Composite large-bore pistons with forged steel piston crowns in series
  • 1987 First MAHLE FERROTHERM® pistons in series (steel head with aluminum piston skirt)
  • 1996 First engine runs with MONOTHERM® pistons
  • 2000 Start of series production of MONOTHERM® pistons with Caterpillar as the pilot customer
  • 2005 First endurance test of a MonoXcomp® piston
  • 2007 Cumulative quantity produced reaches 5.4 million MAHLE MONOTHERM® pistons


The MAHLE Group is one of the 30 largest companies in the automotive supply industry worldwide. As a leading manufacturer of components and systems for the combustion engine and related products, MAHLE ranks among the top 3 systems suppliers for piston systems, cylinder components, valve train systems, air management systems, and liquid management systems. MAHLE employs around 48,000 people at 110 production plants and eight research and development centers. In 2007, MAHLE achieved sales of over EUR 5 billion (USD 7.5 billion).


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