Injection moulding machinery manufacturer reports “drastic declines” / Slump in automotive business
Engel (Schwertberg / Austria; www.engelglobal.com) has not been spared by the upheavals in European machinery manufacturing. The company’s market volumes have undergone a drastic decline worldwide, CSO Christoph Steger reported at leading plastics trade fair “K 2019” (www.k-online.com) in Düsseldorf / Germany. For the current 2019/2020 fiscal year, a 19% drop in sales to EUR 1.3 bn is in the cards. Since the reasons for the decline are primarily political, however, this makes forecasts difficult, he added. It is also not yet possible to say how far new market opportunities in digitalisation, the closed-loop economy and radical changes in the automotive industry could counter the drop in sales.

Steger cited the impact of punitive tariffs and sanctions as negative political and macroeconomic influences, together with Brexit uncertainty hindering investment, surplus capacities and the end of the current economic cycle. Another factor is the crisis prevailing in the automotive sector. As a major consumer, this industry is suffering considerable losses in German-speaking countries and China in particular, due to consumer uncertainty regarding future vehicle concepts and the diesel debate. A further negative influence is the now widespread “plastic bashing”, since this is prompting cutbacks in the use of plastics in various applications and leading to changed statutory requirements in a number of countries.

In Engel’s customer segments, it is the automotive industry – and hence the company’s biggest source of revenue – that is most severely affected by the decline. Steger said the injection moulding of technical components is running according to plan, and medical technology is still generating growth. Business with the packaging sector, however, is increasingly coming under pressure.

CEO Stefan Engleder said short-time working is not planned for the moment as a result of these developments, particularly since the order books were full through to December. Employees were nonetheless reducing their accrued overtime. If the crisis proved to be prolonged, the company would plan additional steps to implement.

Engel is attempting to make the best of the current situation. “We’re making investments in tough times so as to be ready for the recovery when it comes,” says Engleder. Construction at its large-scale-machinery facility in St. Valentin / Austria is thus proceeding according to schedule – see Plasteurope.com of 26.04.2018. The final construction phase includes a new development plant and a technology centre for composites.

The situation is also proving difficult for other players in the industry. Engel competitor Arburg (Loßburg / Germany; www.arburg.com) similarly reported a “clear decline in incoming orders” at K – see Plasteurope.com of 17.10.2019. Industry association Euromap (Frankfurt / Germany; www.euromap.org) has forecast a two-digit decline in the global production value for the current year.
18.10.2019 Plasteurope.com [243689-0]
Published on 18.10.2019
Engel: „Drastische Rückgänge“ bei SpritzgießmaschinenbauerGerman version of this article...

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