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Home > News > Regional News

VDMA: Industry remains in challenge with geopolitical changes

Source:Adsale Plastics Network Date :2024-06-11 Editor :RC
Copyright: This article was originally written/edited by Adsale Plastics Network (AdsaleCPRJ.com), republishing and excerpting are not allowed without permission. For any copyright infringement, we will pursue legal liability in accordance with the law.

At the annual conference of the trade associations of plastics and rubber machinery, waste and recycling technology, EMINT, and the project group for hybrid lightweight technologies, Ulrich Ackermann, Head of VDMA Foreign Trade, addressed the geopolitical changes and their impact on the mechanical engineering industry.


VDMA_report_480.jpg


Geopolitical changes and impact are addressed at the annual conference of VDMA. (Source: VDMA)

 

Geopolitical changes leading to need for new corporate strategies

 

Several present geopolitical changes make impact to the European mechanical engineering industry. Firstly, China is placing its focus on autonomy. This results in knock-off effects for the European mechanical engineering industry.

 

For the US, the present administration has continued the “national approach” of the previous President’s government trade policy in recent years, resulting the world heading towards a new bipolar world order.

 

For the European mechanical engineering industry, this implies the need to have its own production facilities in large target markets, in order to be able to offer market-specific products.

 

In addition, conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East cause high energy costs, inflation and high interest rate, which put pressure on machine manufacturers.

 

Incoming orders slumped by 22% last year

 

Despite the adverse conditions on the international markets, the German plastics and rubber machinery industry ended 2023 with a price-adjusted increase in turnover of 13%. In nominal terms, the increase even amounted to 22%.

 

Although some of the general economic conditions, such as energy costs and inflation, have returned to normal, the downward trend in new orders has not yet been halted.


VDMA_1.png

VDMA_2.png

Annual review of German plastics and rubber machinery industry. (Source: VDMA)


"After we already had to cope with a price-adjusted decline of 13% in 2022, we recorded another 22% fewer orders on the books last year, after adjusting for price changes. As a result, many companies were forced to take countermeasures by introducing reduced working hours," warns Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association.

 

On the sales, this year remains challenging, due to a lack of new orders. When the uncertainty on the markets slowly subsides, and interest rates stabilise at a more tolerable level, investment in new machines will once again pick up, and the sales trend for this year will either see a sideways movement or slight drop.

 

“We cannot and must not play down the economic weakness resulting from the current situation,” stated Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the VDMA. He emphasized the importance of innovative power and new solutions to solve current market issues to strengthen the industry.

  

Newly elected Board of Directors

 

At the general meeting, the company representatives elected the new Board of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association for the period of 2024-2027. Ulrich Reifenhäuser from Reifenhäuser remains Chairman of the Board while Dr. Axel von Wiedersperg from Brückner acts as Deputy Chairman.


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