According to IHS Markit, an information service provider, almost 75 million cars worldwide were fitted with lock sets in 2020. Huf accounted for 20 million of lock sets including car key and locking cylinders. That makes us the global market leader in lock sets - and we have been for decades. It is therefore no secret that Huf is the first port of call for car manufacturers when it comes to car keys and lock sets. That’s the way it’s always been. But very few know about one of the consequences of this consistent record of maintaining the pole position, which is that almost all cars worldwide now benefit from Huf expertise.
When you think
of car keys,
In the 1980s, when a trend emerged among car manufacturers of pursuing their own paths with customized locking systems, Huf became a sought-after development partner and supplier all over the world. VW, Toyota, GM, Hyundai, Ford, Mercedes, BMW, Peugeot, Renault, Opel, Volvo - Huf car locking technology could be found in all major platforms worldwide. That has continued many times over into the present days.
Car keys and locking cylinders with internal-track system increased theft protection
In 1995, Huf set another standard with a new development, presenting the first internal-track locking system. Unlike the systems known up to that point, the guard locks were no longer guided over the “hills and valleys” of the car key, but had to wend their way through a track. This forced guidance not only considerably improved security against theft, but also improved reliability. The downside of outward-facing car key bits is that they can pick up crumbs, lint, and other dirt in pockets and purses. When the car key is then inserted into the locking cylinder, the uninvited passengers shift the guard locks into the wrong positions, and the lock fails to grant access.
Further benefits of the innovative car locking (and of course unlocking) system that Huf introduced at the time include the fact that the exceptionally precise guide tracks were extremely difficult to duplicate and also allowed for a much higher number of different lock codes. That meant that Huf could also fulfill a customer request to offer different lock codes and yet similar car key designs for all brands in the VW Group. Other manufacturers, such as BMW, Rolls-Royce, Peugeot and Hyundai, were to follow, likewise reaping the benefits of the invention made by Huf.
Exposed car locks are rare these days. What few know: Every driver's door handle has a hidden lock cylinder. How to reach it, for example, when the car key battery is drained, can be found in your car's manual. Take a look.
Huf Twin System - the world’s most secure locking system
The race against ever more-creative thieves continued, and Huf was always one step ahead. Around 20 years later, one of the biggest automotive companies benefited from another Huf innovation that was to play a big part in the significant improvement in theft prevention for all the carmakers’ vehicles. The new locking system was based on the Huf Twin System, an in-house Huf development. The Huf Twin System is the world’s most secure locking system for cars and the innovative supplier holds almost all patents for it. Together with its client Huf developed based on the Twin System a new locking system that is equipped since 2014 in all cars of the automotive group, including all sub-brands and their cars and provides them with the best theft protection you can get worldwide.
What makes the Huf Twin System special is that all four sides of the car key shank are individually coded. There is also the fact that Huf has combined the best characteristics of the most secure lock technologies in one lock set system. Two opposing sides feature the already very secure internal-track technology. The other two sides perform precisely the reverse function. On these, the tracks are not milled but are laid on top, with these raised sections running through the grooves in the guard locks and thereby shifting them into the correct positions.
That means that anyone trying to pick the lock needs to be well versed in a range of different techniques to get the guard locks in the car locking cylinder - as many as ten of them - into their respective positions on two axes and into the right insertion position as well. And because the guard locks project into the locking cylinder from all four sides, thieves have very little room to insert their tools and decipher any of the up to 80,000 lock codes.
Harley-Davidson also recognized the benefits of this locking system for its motorcycles - coveted by many, sadly including thieves - and placed an order with Huf in 2015 for the development of an especially compact locking cylinder for maximum theft prevention. With the Harley locking system, Huf removed the separators and allowed the guard lock plates to run directly adjacent to each other like a sandwich. This very intricate mechanism requires exceptional precision in the manufacturing process, which Huf was able to ensure along with speed and excellent quality thanks to its many years of experience.
From Huf Mexico to the world: Harley-Davidson motorcycle keys benefit from Huf Twin System.
Four eyes see more than two: In the quality process all products will be checked to fulfill the high standards.
Hidden innovations: So-called emergency keys are often inside of remote control keys that can be used to open cars by pressing a button or hands-free.
Huf is the market leader for lock sets in the automotive industry. In 2020, 20 million lock sets were produced in Huf plants worldwide.