QMT News: April 2012
The machine tool industry warns: de-industrialisation may wipe out Europe’s innovation capacity
The European Association of the Machine Tool industries, CECIMO, launched its “Study on the Competitiveness of the European Machine Tool Industry” with a roundtable meeting at the European Parliament on 21 March, which brought together industry and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

 The event was titled: “Made in Europe? Challenges facing the EU’s machine tool industry”. The findings of the CECIMO study reveal that the share of European machine tool production has been in decline over the last decade. “Today, Asia consumes more 66% of the world’s machine tool production and China alone absorbs 50% of this. The share of European consumption in world consumption has dropped from 40% to one fifth over the last decade, the share which was obviously lost to Asia” explained Michael Hauser, Vice-President of CECIMO, CEO of Tornos S.A. to MEPs present in the meeting.

Emerging countries increasingly invest in production systems provided largely by the European machine tool industry to build up their manufacturing base. “This is good news for our companies as their exports to China and Asia are booming. However, the bad news is that our customers relocate outside Europe and we are forced to follow them to other markets. Expanding to Asian markets is almost ‘a mission impossible’ for an SME employing a hundred people”, the CECIMO Vice-President stated.

CECIMO Director General called on all the involved authorities at both Member State and EU level to commit themselves to the development and implementation of a long-term common European manufacturing strategy  adjusted to the globalisation era. He said, “Such a strategy should support the internationalisation of SMEs by providing assistance for capacity building, information on market access and more favourable conditions for export finances, which will allow them to expand to emerging markets and to benefit from economies of scale. Meanwhile, Europe should focus on measures to boost innovation and productivity which will enhance the competitiveness of manufacturers in the global marketplace”.
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