VDW Europe drives demand for machine tools made in Germany
Germany – The German machine tool industry experienced another record year in 2015, and the German Machine Tool Builders' Association VDW expects moderate growth in 2016. Major driver is Western Europe as well as emerging markets such as Iran, Mexico and Asean member states.
The German machine tool industry recorded a 4% rise in production output in 2015 as compared to 2014, 1% higher than anticipated early last year. Production values reached €15.1bn. “We are very happy about this result, particularly because it seemed somewhat ambitious to achieve the forecast in mid 2015,” commented Dr Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, Chairman of the German Machine Tool Builders' Association VDW, at a recently held press conference in Frankfurt, Germany.
The result was boosted by the year’s fourth quarter, November in particular, which recorded the highest growth rate of the entire year. With an export rate of 70%, domestic orders contributed slightly less to the increase in machine tool output. Export increased by 4% to €9.4bn, boosted by demand from America (+19%), where Mexico was the main driver for growth (+75%).
The European machine tool industry is in good shape
Against all expectations, German machine tool exports to European countries increased by 8%, Prokop said, led by Western Europe. This is largely due to the strong industrial demand from Italy (+34%) and Spain (11%) which are returning to growth thanks to investment incentives. The politically motivated support for the modernisation of production equipment is likely to continue to provide for buoyancy there. The development in Sweden (+19%) and Austria (+9%) is also striking. By contrast, exports to Russia decreased by 19% and Asia disappointed with a decrease in demand for German machine tools by 5%. While India, South Korea, Japan and Singapore were drivers of German exports, Chinese demand decreased by 8% in 2015.
Boosted by booming sectors such as automotive and the electrical industry among others, the German machine tool industry is anticipating a moderate 1% rise in production output in 2016.