A business situation more or less stable over the whole year 2015 brought sales growth for the German rubber industry of 2.2 % to 11.56 billion €. Besides, the second half‐year was a little more dynamic –in particular concerning exports.
Although the tyre manufacturers recorded sales increases both in €and pieces, the tyre aftermarket business remained weak in the long‐standing comparison. The manufacturers of General Rubber Goods (GRG) profited from rising export businesses.
Combined with a robust demand by the strong trading partner USA a plus arose with the export turnover of the industry. The foreign turnover increased by 2.7 % to 3.60 billion €.
The domestic turnover rose by 1.9 % to 7.97 billion €. Increased tyre sales to the vehicle industry as well as to end‐consumers were decisive.
The foreign locations of the German rubber manufacturers have profited in 2015. In spite of higher sales the domestic production sank by 0.6 %. Main reason was a deterioration of the price competitiveness of Germany as a location for industry. This also led to a continuous investment restraint.
After years of increasing employment the balance of new hires and dismissals for the first time was negative again. Covering 75,300 employees at the end of the year 2015 the employment figure in the industry shrank about 0.7 %. In the 1st quarter of 2016 the turnover of the German rubber industry sank by just 2 % in comparison to the corresponding last year's quarter. In spite of a strong February in the last year's comparison the drops in sales in January and in particular in March could not be compensated.
The economic indicators of the industry point to a moderate upward trend in the following half‐year. For the whole year 2016 an increase in turnover of about 1 % is to be expected for the German rubber industry.