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Keywords of this article:  extrusion 
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automotive 
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packaging 
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blow molding 
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Kautex Maschinenbau said it is suffering from a downturn in the global economy and will have to adjust the sharp increase in the number of employees at the Bonn site in recent years.
Kautex Maschinenbau said it is suffering from a downturn in the global economy and will have to adjust the sharp increase in the number of employees at the Bonn site in recent years.

In recent years, the international manufacturer of extrusion blow molding machines has experienced above-average growth in business. In addition to the significant business in the automotive segment, the sale of all-electric high-performance machines for the packaging industry has proved to be a further driving force.

Decline in sales due to global risks

For some months now, global risks such as Brexit, US trade policy and the diesel crisis have led to a downturn in the global economy. In 2018, car production in China alone, the world's largest automobile market, declined for the first time in 20 years.

In January of this year there was a 14.4% decline compared to the previous year (according to CAAM). Due to its high export share of more than 90%, the mechanical engineering company Kautex Maschinenbau, with its headquarters in Bonn, is clearly feeling the effects of these negative developments.

"Some of our customers in the automotive segment now have surplus capacity," reported Andreas Lichtenauer, Managing Partner at Kautex Maschinenbau. "Some machines are not in production."

Personnel adjustment at the Bonn location

As part of new drive concepts for passenger cars, Kautex Maschinenbau began investing early in the development of alternative energy storage systems. The development of composite pressure vessels plays a major role here as an additional source of revenue alongside the fuel tank business.

However, this will not compensate for the decline in incoming orders. The company is therefore forced to adjust the sharp increase in the number of employees at the Bonn site in recent years.

Realignment of the sales organization

"The current economic changes, as well as changing customer and market requirements, require Kautex to rethink many areas," said Dr. Olaf Weiland, CEO of Kautex. "Our first priority is a comprehensive program to increase efficiency in all business processes. We will also revise our sales strategy to a more focused approach.”

Sales, which previously operated across all industries, will be realigned and divided to focus on the packaging and automotive divisions. The aim is to specialize sales activities to meet customer needs.  

Investing in sustainable solutions

Another important step for the manufacturer of plastic processing machines is the further development of the use of recycled materials.

Technical solutions are currently being worked on at full speed in order to secure and expand the company's leading technological position also in the field of recycled material processing for high-performance machines used for the manufacture of plastic packaging.

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