In the first quarter of 2013, order bookings in Germany’s machine tool industry fell by 19 per cent compared to the equivalent quarter of 2012. Domestic orders were down by 21 per cent, while orders from abroad dropped by 18 per cent.
“Demand for machine tools is still lacking momentum”, comments Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the industry association VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt am Main. The weak start to the year, he said, signals a perceptible degree of scepticism, not least by mid-tier customers in Germany. Order bookings in metal-cutting applications, for instance, with a broadly diversified customer base, remained 26 per cent down on the preceding year’s figure. In forming technology, by contrast, which is dominated by project business with the automotive industry, orders are still running at the previous year’s level.
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