Aside from Asia, North America is currently one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Car sales figures and overall consumption are remaining at a high level. Other factors include a renewed appreciation for goods produced in the country and the fact that the sometimes very old machinery is now being modernised and brought back to a competitive level with innovative technologies. "We are expecting the very positive investment climate to continue," says Steger. Due to the fact that Engel had already appointed Business Unit managers for North America two years ago, it is now in a good position to participate very successfully in the upswing.
The booming automotive industry in the USA has two evident centers of activity: the Southeast and the Detroit area. In Detroit, Engel is in collaborative partnerships with two Technology Centers, SA Engineering and Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering. At both facilities, there are Engel machines available for trials, technology demonstrations and development projects. The range of possibilities is broad; the largest Engel machine available is an Engel duo 3500 US.
At the technology centre operated by SA Engineering in Detroit, Engel will be hosting the first trend.scaut in North America in late June, taking into account the fact that the automotive industry in North America is of great significance. In Europe, the Engel automotive conference has long become established as one the most important networking events in the industry.
Mexico is also benefitting from the automobile boom in North America, partly as a kind of prolonged assembly line for the USA, but also because of the strong domestic demand.
Technical Moulding, Medical and Packaging also see strong growth
All Engel Business Units in North America are benefitting from the machinery modernising and reshoring trends. In the area of technical moulding, it is above all toy manufacturers that are relocating their production back from Asia. In the building and construction sector, new investments are very often entrusted to Engel. For example, the tie-bar-less Engel victory and Engel e-victory injection moulding machines provide significant added value in the production of large fittings.
In the packaging market, replacement investments play an important role, because processors can only maintain competitiveness in the mid-term by employing highly efficient injection moulding solutions. Another factor is the trend towards high-quality functional packaging that places high demands not only on the efficiency of the injection moulding machines, but also on their precision.
For the medical sector, North America is of great fundamental importance. On the one hand, it is the largest market worldwide for medical technologies. On the other, the USA is next to Europe the most important motor for innovation in this industry.
Europe: large market share consolidated further
In Europe, Engel successfully continued to consolidate its large market share in the 2015-2016 financial year, and was even able to significantly expand its share in the packaging sector. Among other things, this was due to large projects in the area of beverage caps.
Germany remains one of the markets with the highest turnover for the Engel Group. The sales and service subsidiaries in Nuremberg, Hannover, Hagen and Stuttgart are showing continued positive development. The Engel Deutschland Technologieforum Stuttgart - the youngest of the four German subsidiaries - has more than doubled its personnel since opening in April of 2013.
But not all machine projects that are ordered and carried out in Germany remain in the country. Engel customers often plan for them to go directly to their international locations. In Spain and France, this kind of cross-border business also makes up a large share of the very good results achieved in the 2015-2016 financial year. Italy continues to profit from a strong domestic market.