Dusseldorf, Germany — Economic uncertainty and unresolved global issues are dragging down market volumes in the injection moulding industry worldwide, according to Engel executives.
During a 16 Oct news conference on the first day of K, the Austrian injection moulding machinery maker said the impact of punitive tariffs and sanctions, a continuing lack of Brexit clarity, and an ongoing debate concerning regulatory tariffs and diesel driving bans as the biggest drivers leading both consumers and business decision-makers to delay purchases and investments.
"The declines are drastic and noticeable worldwide," said Christoph Steger, chief sales officer of Engel Holding GmbH.
Steger said the company is seeing an inconsistent picture across industries. Technical moulding, the company's second-largest contributor to sales, is "on budget," he said, and the company is experiencing continued growth in medical technology.
But the automotive industry — the largest of Engel's five business units — has been the hardest hit.
"There is, within the industry, a significant decline in the automotive industry," Steger said, pointing to the monthlong United Auto Workers strike in the US that has cost General Motors Co. millions of dollars a day from lost production. The union and GM had reached a tentative settlement 16 Oct.
Engel's recent report of a global decline, especially in automotive, echoes what the Austrian company previously had warned of earlier this year in an annual earnings report.
Globally, all regions are hurting from a slowdown in the automotive industry, but China and German-speaking countries in Europe especially have been impacted.
Those two regions contributed the largest share of Engel's 6% sales growth for the 2018-19 fiscal year that ended 31 March. Sales for that fiscal year were around $1.78 billion (€1.6 billion).