The History of Mahle Engines- Everything You Need to Know

The History of Mahle Engines- Everything You Need to Know

Mahle is an industry leader in engine components of significant renown. Moreover, it is an international development partner for numerous vehicle manufacturers. This status places Mahle at the forefront of innovation and the continuous improvement of the internal combustion engine. Its portfolio spreads far and wide as they design and manufacture a vast range of truck spares, from pistons to starter motors, liners, turbochargers, valves, and more.

The company’s products have such widespread global use that it is worth becoming familiar with the Mahle name and brand.

The History of Mahle

Hermann Mahle founded Mahle Engines in 1920 in Bad Cannstatt, Germany. In 1922, after Hermann’s brother Ernst joined the company, Mahle began building light-alloy pistons. By 1929, Ernst had begun developing oil and air filters to reduce lubricant contamination in response to mounting pressures on engines and pistons. Additionally, Mahle innovated the first ring carrier piston to reduce piston wear. This technology has been in use since it was first developed in 1930 and maintains prominent use today.

The company has been referred to as Mahle since 1938. However, Mahle encountered a significant loss of value and assets during the war. So, to start their recovery, the company expanded into Brazil in 1945 after the war’s end. They altered their operations, so kitchen appliances and piston repair occurred in Germany while the Brazil branch focused on piston development.

The Mahle brothers stepped down in 1971. However, the company continued thriving, at which point a renewed focus on filters led to its expansion into the United States in 1975. From there, Mahle- in 1991- became a systems and modules development partner while growing into a range of truck engine components, including valve train systems. Considerable worldwide expansion led to Mahle’s global recognition as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in 2000. From there, in 2003, the company developed its first complete engine.

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Since then, Mahle has continued to grow and is now one of the largest OEMs worldwide. The company continues to pioneer new truck and heavy vehicle technology. Additionally, it is also branching into smart vehicles.

Focus products:

Starter Motors

Mahle manufactures starter motors for all internal combustion engines with displacement ranging from 0.8 – 19 litres. This collection includes modern reduction gear starters and directly driven starter motors.

Mahle products are designed to be durable and perform well in tough conditions. They have a strong resistance to water, fog, mud, humidity, dust, salt, extreme temperatures and vibrations. Moreover, their product design complies with set international standards of electromagnetic capability, thus accounting for their prevalent use in trucks worldwide.


Mahle develops alternators for buses, trucks, and other heavy machinery. There are two primary categories:

  • classic alternators with external fans.
  • Compact alternators with internal fans.

Both designs offer significant application-based advantages. Compact alternators suit the higher rotational speed and lower noise applications best, while classic alternators are built to withstand harsh conditions.

Cooling products

Mahle’s thermal management division is developing a range of modern cooling solutions for every type of truck, bus and heavy vehicle. Some examples of their cooling products include:

  • Low-temperature radiators.
  • Thermostats and control valves.
  • Oil heating and cooling systems.
  • Charge air coolers.
  • Standard radiators.
  • Cooling modules.
  • Electric coolant pumps.

Mahle’s product range demonstrates the company’s drive to innovate and develop aftermarket parts for trucks that will benefit owners and operators everywhere and live up to Mahle’s industry-leading standards.

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Ayhan Fletcher

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