Europe’s Machine Tool Industry Calls for a European Vision on Manufacturing and a More Solid Financial Base
Last modified 21-06-2012
• The output of the European machine tool industry increased in 2011 by 26% against 2010 to nearly 21 bn Euros; stabilisation of production is forecasted for 2012.
• Whereas CECIMO exports reach almost the 2008 level, domestic demand remains weak in Europe.
• Difficulties in accessing to finance are severely hampering business and investments in many European countries, despite a real demand from customers.
The production of almost 21 bn Euros in 2011 is approximately 15% lower than in the record year of 2008. At the same time, CECIMO exports at 16.5 bn Euros in 2011 reached almost its all-time high previously observed in 2008. Imports and apparent consumption, which reflect the sentiment in the European market, was far below their 2008 values, despite strong increases in 2011 compared to 2010. Imports grew by 37% to 7.9 bn Euros while the apparent consumption increased by 29% to 12.2 bn Euros, which is far below the 2008 levels.
European machine tool builders sell their products to almost all the countries in the world. In the key machine tool consuming markets CECIMO is a leading supplier of manufacturing solutions. This proves that our offer has been not only the most competitive but also very often irreplaceable. European machine tool exports to external markets grew by 27% over the last year, exceeding 10 bn Euros.
“The machine tool industry is not a project that can be created overnight and be run without employees. Europe has been developing its machinery base for many generations and now this high value-added industry with its knowledge-intensive skilled workforce is a backbone of modern European economy”, comments Martin Kapp, CECIMO President. He adds: “Our overseas competitors recognize very well the advantage of having an industry which is at the core of the next industrial revolution and are pursuing proactive policies in order to reinforce their position or quickly acquire the necessary know-how”.
Europe clearly lacks a strategy for its manufacturing industries. Against the backdrop of the proactive policies being implemented in other parts of the world, Europe is witnessing a deterioration of its industrial base, which implies increasing unemployment and a risk of becoming dependent in many aspects on third countries. The deindustrialisation of Europe coupled with rising protectionism in rapidly industrialising countries pose serious risks for Europe as regards to the security of supply in strategic areas. “Europe urgently needs a clear vision supported by targeted policies for its manufacturing industries. The current approach based on fragmented and selective actions proved to be both costly and inefficient. Action is needed, before it is too late and before we lose our capacity to invent high-tech products which are necessary to rebuild the future European economy”, stresses Mr Martin Kapp.
CECIMO welcomes the ambitious EU market access strategy which helps facilitate market access for our companies in emerging markets. However, although the EU trade policy is helpful to back industrial policy efforts, it has its limits. The slow pace of bilateral trade negotiations and the inability of the EU to facilitate trade with key exports markets are illustrative of this. This situation provides additional argument for the European decision makers to revise the industrial strategy and to develop domestic industrial policy measures which will help boost the competitiveness of European manufacturers in global markets. Action is required especially in the areas of SME policy, innovation and skills.
The austerity crisis in the Eurozone adds to the severity of the situation both in Europe and worldwide. The half-measures dictated by the political agendas have been only postponing the real solution of the problems. As a result, the access to money has dried up and is currently seriously hampering business and investments in many European countries, despite a real demand from customers. “We strongly urge the politicians to take decisive steps and ultimately solve the problems which have their roots back in the crisis of 2008 and 2009”, Martin Kapp said.
Statements relating to the future:
This press release contains statements relating to the future, which are based on current evaluations of the management regarding future developments. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties relating to factors that are beyond CECIMO’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as the future market environment and economic conditions. Should these conditions or other unforeseeable event occur, or should the assumptions on which these statements are based prove incorrect, the actual results may differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these statements. CECIMO disclaims any intention or special obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in events or developments occurring after the reporting period. Forward-looking statements must not be understood as a guarantee or assurance of future developments or events contained therein.
CECIMO is the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries. We bring together 15 national Associations of Machine Tool Builders, which represent approximately 1500 industrial enterprises in Europe*, over 80% of which are SMEs. CECIMO covers more than 97% of total Machine Tool production in Europe and more than one third worldwide. It accounts for almost 150,000 employees and a turnover of nearly €21 Billion in 2011. Three quarters of CECIMO production is shipped abroad, whereas more than half of it is exported outside Europe*. For more information visit www.cecimo.eu
*Europe = EU + EFTA + Turkey