India’s expanding market opts for German production technology German machine tools showcased in India for the fourth time

By admin 07-Apr-2016

News

The German machine tool industry
continues to arouse keen interest in India. For the fourth time in
succession, the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) has joined
forces with the German-Indian Chamber of Industry and Commerce to organise
one-day symposia on 15 March in Chennai and on 17 March in Pune.
17 front-ranking companies like DMG Mori, Emag, Gehring, Gleason-Pfauter,
Heckert, Heller, Hermle, Kapp, Leistritz, MAG, Mauser, Open Mind, Peiseler,
Profiroll, Samag, Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen and Waldrich Coburg
showcased their products, solutions and services for modern-day industrial
production operations. Around 240 customers from the automotive industry
and its component suppliers, the general mechanical engineering sector, and
the aviation industry accepted the invitation in Chennai; 220 customers
came to Pune.

“This is already the fourth occasion that the VDW has been represented in
two cities at a time with its symposia in India. This has proved to be a
good idea, because of the country’s size and its regional distribution of
industrial activity,” explains Klaus-Peter Kuhnmünch, who, at the organiser
VDW, is responsible for the technology symposia.

India’s machine tool market offers huge potential
With a market volume of almost 1.8 billion euros, India came eighth in the
world rankings for machine tools in 2015. The VDW’s British forecasting
partner, Oxford Economics, expects the Indian economy to pick up speed in
the years ahead, with industrial production output and capital investment
both rising. The machine tool market is predicted to expand by 9 to 10 per
cent in both 2016 und 2017. The growth of the Indian market is directly
linked to improvements in the local infrastructures. “The slogan ‘Make in
India’ is aimed at central investments on the spot, and creates ideal
conditions for direct investments from abroad. We want to benefit directly
from this welcome trend,” emphasises Gerhard Flores, Head of Technological
Development and Patents at Gehring Technologies GmbH, Ostfildern, who was
attending the VDW’s symposium.

German manufacturers see a turnaround
It was in 2007 and 2008 that the German machine tool sector achieved its
biggest successes in India. Exports reached a figure of just under 300
million euros. In the two subsequent years, the worldwide financial and
economic crisis caused them to shrink by a quarter. In 2014, for example,
the volume of exports was a mere 150 million euros. In 2015, however, signs
of a turnaround emerged, which the sector is keen to benefit from. To quote
Dr. Manfred Berger, Executive Vice President Global Sales at MAG IAS GmbH
in Eislingen: “It’s primarily the automotive industry and its component
suppliers that are our principal focus in India. We are anticipating
significant growth in these customer sectors in the future. International
component suppliers, in particular, are exhibiting growth potential of
exceptional dynamism.”

Japan’s traditional role as leader under attack
The most important foreign vendor nation is, of course, Japan, which in
2014 supplied 28 per cent of India’s imports. The German manufacturers, by
contrast, as the second-largest supplier category, upped their share from
13 to 14.5 per cent. The order situation in India, too, recorded growth of
41 per cent in 2015 compared to the preceding year. Nonetheless, Japan’s
leading position in India has strengthened over the past decade. The German
machine tool manufacturers active in India are aiming to successively
increase their market shares in relation to Japan. The sophisticated
pricing structure plays a crucial role here as an important influencing
factor. Maximilian Waizenegger, Regional Sales Manager at the machinery
manufacturer Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG in Gosheim, explains:
“India has for many years now been a very price-sensitive market. German
machine tools are regarded as too expensive. We are increasingly observing,
however, that more expensive machines are also being purchased, and that
awareness levels for the importance of high quality on the spot are rising
very significantly.”

Jens Wunderlich, Authorised Signatory at Profiroll Technologies GmbH in Bad
Düben, confirms this statement, and also outlines two strategic approaches
for how, in his view, it’s possible to handle the Indian market better in
future: “Firstly, German manufacturers have to be prepared to provide
technological support on the spot, extending above and beyond the needs of
other markets. Secondly, as a company in India, you have to be prepared to
modify your products to suit he market’s needs on the spot, which also
means slimming down the machines to their essentials in line with the
customer’s actual requirements, and providing local service support.”

Symposia are ideal platforms
In order to enter into direct dialogues with Indian customers, and broker
new business relationships, the VDW has for years now been offering its
successful technology symposia in India. Firms like DMG Mori, Emag,
Gehring, Heller and Profiroll are already involved for the fourth time.

For Viktor Schulze, Sales Manager at Samag Saalfelder Werkzeugmaschinen
GmbH in Saalfeld, the concept is a cogent one. “The symposia are a
brilliant platform, not least for the smaller German vendors. The customers
come to us, and are keenly interested. During the symposia we had an
opportunity to conduct intensive conversations. In addition, it’s a great
to get to know more about the Indian market. Otherwise you’d have to do
that by yourself.” Dr. Berger of MAG IAS adds: “The visitor quality in
Chennai and Pune was very good, and I’m very satisfied with the entire
event.”

The event itself, and the product solutions being showcased by the German
companies concerned are being well received by the Indian customers. K.
Mohan, Managing Director at the Indian automotive component supplier Sep
India PVT Ltd in Hosur, puts it succinctly: “The symposium is a unique
opportunity to familiarise yourself with the diversity of German machine
tools. In contrast to a trade fair, you find out all you need to know in a
single day, and can enter into direct discussions with the vendors
concerned.”

Ashol Aseri, Vice President of the Aviation Division at Maini Precision
Products Limited in Bangalore, is primarily impressed by the performance
spectrum of the German machine tools on show, and says: “The automotive and
aviation industries need maximised quality. Only German vendors can meet
these expectations in terms of precision, efficiency and high availability
levels. Which is why we are only prepared to consider machines from
Germany.”

German machine tool industry opts for can-do associates
The VDW’s symposium was organised in conjunction with the German-Indian
Chamber of Industry and Commerce. In the view of Hubert Reilard, Chamber of
Foreign Trade President in India, the Indian subcontinent is an important
market for the German mechanical engineering sector. Under the new
government, particularly, India’s industrial sector is achieving notable
development, and German vendors, with their production capabilities, could
assume a crucial role for the country’s upcoming industrialisation thrust,
he emphasises.

Klaus-Peter Kuhnmünch of the VDW confirms this, and adds: “We as the German
machine tool industry are confident that India will, in the future too,
continue to develop with vigorous dynamism. Chennai and Pune, in
particular, are home to the centres of India’s automotive industry and its
component suppliers.” So the association will also be present here in the
future for the mutual benefit of Indian customers and German machine
vendors.