VDW German machine tool output jumps in 2012, seen nearly flat in 2013
Sector boasts record exports, but orders eased last year.
German machine tool production last year rose at a better-than-expected annual rate of 9% to €14.1 billion, but the industry’s growth will likely only reach 1% in 2013 and could remain at that low level the following year, according to Martin Kapp, chairman of the German machine tool makers association VDW.
Speaking at the VDW’s annual press conference in Frankfurt, Kapp said while it was currently too early to make a prediction, production growth in 2014 could be on a "similar level" to that of the current year. “Orders in the second half of this year and the first part of 2014 will be decisive," he said. Orders dropped 10% last year versus the record set in 2011, the VDW said.
Unprecedented exports fuelled last year’s growth. Shipments from Germany jumped 20% to a record €9.5 billion, the VDW said.
Domestic alliances on the rise
German machine tool producers have been increasingly co-operating with each other, Kapp said, a trend expected to continue. He said such alliances are not designed to counter foreign competition but to meet market demands because customers want “solutions” instead of individual products. His call for more co-operation among national machine tool makers echoes similar requests from national and international tool and mould associations on their members.