Injection molding machinery manufacturer Engel has recorded strong growth in its latest financial year, seeing sales rebound from €358 million in the year ending March 2010 to €615 million in the year to March 2011. Business in big machines in China is helping fuel the growth, one reason the company is set to double its manufacturing capacity there.
One factor behind Engel's strong growth was a resurgent automotive industry, where processors were not only investing in replacement machinery but also in new processing innovations, according to Gerd Liebig, group marketing director and head of sales at Engel Austria (Schwertberg, Austria). "I estimate 10% of investment is in injection machines featuring new innovations," he said during an interview with PlasticsToday at the Chinaplas trade show in Guangzhou (May 17-20).
China is a key market for auto investment, with around 18 million vehicles sold in 2010 and further growth anticipated despite restrictions and financial burdens being placed on car ownership in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. "We expect growth rates of 10-15%/year, meaning several new assembly plants will be required every year," noted Gero Willmeroth, president, sales and service, at Engel Machinery (Shanghai) Co. The geographical trend in China's automotive industry is to go west, as evidenced by recent investments by Volvo and VW in Chengdu. ...