CECIMO – More Than 25 Billion Euro Of Machine Tools Production And The New EU Industrial Policy Strategy

CECIMO latest data shows that the European production of machine tools is expected to reach 25.2 billion euro in 2017, registering an annual growth rate of 4%. While 2016 saw a notable decline of global machine tool production from 68.9 billion euro to 64.2 billion euro (-7.9%), CECIMO members were not affected by this downturn and kept its volume at 24.4 billion euro, therefore growing their global market shares. CECIMO believes that the EU should do more to deliver its promises for a stronger and more competitive industry. A more effective market surveillance is also essential to ensure product safety and a level playing field in the Internal Market.

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Positive outlook for machine tools production in Europe for 2017

This year the MT production in Europe is expected to grow again at an annual rate close to 4%, to hit 25.2 billion euro and increase CECIMO’s production market share beyond 36%. Germany and Italy are the biggest MT producers (46.2% and 19.3% respectively), shortly followed by Switzerland (12.0%). Hence, the CECIMO MT production is continuing its stable growth trend.

Dr Frank Brinken

The trade among CECIMO countries is rising. One out of four machine tools exported by companies in CECIMO countries is directed to another CECIMO country. Outside CECIMO, the largest customers are China (25.6%) and USA (18.0%). Moreover, the Chinese consumption is expected in 2017 to increase at an annual rate of 3.6 versus 3.2 in Europe and in the world. In 2016, all CECIMO exports amounted to 18.34 billion euro. As pointed out by Dr Frank Brinken, Chairman of the CECIMO Economic Committee and Vice- Chairman of Starrag Holding AG, “given the uncertainties by various announcements from the US about the implementation of protectionist trade barriers, we have to refrain from making a detailed forecast for 2017/18. However, we estimate, in an unchanged business climate, to reach an export volume slightly beyond 19 billion euro”.

The European MT consumption is likely to reach around 18.6 billion euro demonstrating a moderate but certain growth, in line with the world consumption trend. Investments in modern machine tools are fuelled by investment tax incentives in certain countries and the trend towards digital manufacturing, which requires a state-of-the-art machine population.

CECIMO reacts to the “Renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy” of the European Commission

Filip Geerts

European Commission President Jean- Claude Juncker gave his annual State of the European Union address at the European Parliament urging us “to catch the wind in Europe’s sails”. While CECIMO appreciates the positive outlook of the EU, as described by President Juncker, we believe that the EU should do more to deliver its promises for a stronger and more competitive industry.

It is undeniable that the Machine Tool industry is a major driver for employment, skills and innovation in Europe and has a strategic role in advanced economies. In fact, machine tools are often called “mother machines” due to their essential role in – virtually – every manufacturing process and in industrial value chains like automotive, aerospace, energy, electronics, medical etc.

The European Commission through the recently launched Communication on a Renewed EU Industrial policy strategy has committed to support the European industry to address the current challenges and achieve its vast potential in the new industrial age.

CECIMO welcomes the EC initiative, nevertheless believes that it lacks a longterm vision. Moreover, the Communication does not outline a set of concrete actions to help the EU industry stay or become the world leader in innovation, digitization and decarbonization.

Luigi Galdabini

The most promising announcement in the Communication was the European Commission’s intention to join forces with the member states, the EU Institutions and the European industry to reflect on the main elements of such a strategy in the framework of a High Level Industrial Roundtable (to be set up in 2018) and the continuation of the EU Industry Day. “CECIMO is keen to contribute to this collaborative dialogue and ensure that MT industry’s needs and concerns are heard and acknowledged”, said Filip Geerts, CECIMO Director General.

In our view, the challenges of the EU industry remain the following – developing skills and competences, nourishing research, development and innovation, bridging the investment gap, building on our biggest strength – the single market and maintaining a global level playing field.

Effective market surveillance essential to ensure product safety and a fair Internal Market

EU legislation lays down the essential health and safety requirements that products must conform to. The non-enforcement of this legislation puts health and safety at risk, creates unfair competition and undermines the competitiveness of those economic operators who do comply with the rules. Market surveillance is therefore a key element of the Internal market.

“CECIMO welcomes the Commission’s intention to make proposals to enhance the cooperation among market surveillance authorities announced in the Industrial policy strategy and believes that effective market surveillance requires close cooperation between economic operators and public authorities”, explained Mr Luigi Galdabini, CECIMO President and Managing Director of Cesare Galdabini SpA. This is why CECIMO decided to proactively develop Guidelines to support economic operators, market surveillance and customs authorities to assess the conformity of machines with existing European product safety law.

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