Finally, with ChemChina as an owner we’ve got easier access to capital at good rates. We are very optimistic because ChemChina has a long-term interest in our business. This is different to the three financial investors we have had in the past as owners of the KraussMaffei Group.
Q: As far as senior management is concerned does that mean changing from thinking in timeframes of 3 to 5 years to thinking 7 to 10 years out or further than that?
Golz: ChemChina is a long-term oriented strategic investor with a huge interest in the growth of the KraussMaffei Group. The transaction will not only have benefits for our China business; it will benefit us across the globe and strengthen all of our sites.
Q: Does the investment by ChemChina into the KraussMaffei Group and also into Pirelli mark the start of a larger trend of Chinese investment into high-quality European capital goods markets and consumables?
Golz: There is a move in China towards higher quality equipment as well of high quality products made using it. In the past China was desperate for industrial production. But this is changing if you look for example at the automotive sector in China: All the global OEMs have to produce the same quality all over the world. Chinese customers are increasingly demanding more. They understand there is a value behind quality and they want a better quality. This drives technology forward.
At the same time, wages in China are rising at double-digit rates. That means salaries are more expensive, and companies are thinking in the longer term. If salaries become more expensive, more automation is required. Automation helps improve quality. Rising levels of automation in China are an important trend and ChemChina relies on our know-how and technologies.
Q: So part of the attraction that ChemChina has in the KraussMaffei Group is that your companies are innovators, and that they believe they can bring this to their company?
Golz: Innovation is a process and you can manage innovation. The brands of the KraussMaffei Group can look back on a long-term tradition and our customers can take advantage of our leading solutions for processing plastics and rubber.
Q: Thinking about raw materials, are there sufficient high-quality raw materials available for production in China? The steel used to make a mould is significantly different to the steel used to make an injection moulding machine isn’t it?
Golz: It depends, certainly some steel qualities are not available in China and they have to be imported. This is expensive, but the material is becoming more and more available. However demand will lead to supply and if there is a significant demand for steel for moulds, if it’s not available today, then it will be tomorrow.
Q: What do you think ChemChina can bring to the KraussMaffei Group apart from good access to capital markets and long-term thinking?
Golz: Stability. Our customers no longer think about the question ‘who will be the owner of the KraussMaffei Group in the next five years?’ ChemChina has a long-term strategic interest in the KraussMaffei Group to develop the brands further and to strengthen our common market position.