Haas Automation Staying in the fast lane in Europe
In an exclusive interview with ETMM, Jens Thing, managing director of Haas Automation Europe, explains the company’s extraordinary growth in sales, which exceeded 20% in 2014.
ETMM: Jens, last year you predicted 20% growth in sales for Haas Automation Europe in 2014. Did you reach that target?
Jens Thing: We actually exceeded the 20% mark last year. So yes, we reached the target! Worldwide, Haas Automation recorded a total of more than $1bn in turnover, which makes us number 14 in the world’s machine tool production ranking. Ten years ago we were ranking around 28th. This shows our aggressive growth. And what’s more: our unit volume of nearly 14,000 Haas CNC machine tools produced and sold last year puts us at number two in the world.
ETMM: How do you explain these figures? What differentiates you from the competition?
Thing: I think more and more customers understand the value of Haas products and services. Haas offers its products at a fair price. We are the only machine tool builder worldwide to display prices on the internet. The price is available for everyone, no matter whether we talk about small or large customers. Furthermore, as of 1 January 2015, all customers can check out our spare parts price list on www.haasparts.com. We are the only company in our industry that offers full cost transparency, displaying the low cost of ownership of Haas CNC machines and how this achieves production of parts at a low cost per part. This is to the benefit of our customers.
ETMM: The Haas Factory outlet concept of dedicated Haas distributors probably helps by being close to your customer and understanding different markets?
Thing: Yes, the concept offers many benefits. Meanwhile, we have 179 HFOs worldwide. All factory outlets operate similarly with the benefit of the local support, spirit and knowledge in each country. At the same time, each outlet benefits from the large network and support in the background.
ETMM: So the concept seems to work well in Europe. What countries experienced most growth last year?
Thing: We had growth across all of Europe - Italy, Spain, France. Everyone thinks that the French economy is far from being good, but our sales in France were very good. We also predict a positive trend for 2015 - Haas Automation is continuously winning additional market share in Europe.