Tool industry calls for policy perspectives
According to a survey conducted by the German Tool Industry Association (FWI) at the end of April, the Business Climate Index has fallen by 75 points since the beginning of 2020 to the lowest level since the 2009 financial crisis. The Corona pandemic, the limitations of public life and the widespread uncertainty caused by it have a dramatic impact on the tool industry.
“It is particularly worrying that our members assess their prospects for the next six months even worse than at the peak of the financial crisis in March 2009,” commented FWI Chairman Michael Kleinbongartz. 80 % of respondents expect a further deterioration of the already critical situation.
Kleinbongartz: “We need reliable perspectives and planning security to ensure the continuity of our industry and its suppliers and jobs, and to prepare internal processes and supply chains for a relaunch. Policy should primarily reduce the current deep uncertainty of consumers and economic operators.”
66 % of tool manufacturers report break-in orders and 75 % of companies have applied for short-time work. Even the first redundancies had to be made. “If the current situation persists even longer, lasting structural damage to the German tool industry is to be expected, which in turn will have an impact on the systemic supply of German industry and crafts,” Kleinbongartz continued. “The policy is now called upon to adopt further systematic steps from the lockdown as well as short-term measures to stimulate demand. Companies have already implemented extensive protective measures and are therefore well prepared for targeted relaxation of the restrictions.”
Otherwise, the FWI fears a wave of insolvency and concentration in the German tool industry as well as the loss of highly qualified specialists. According to the FWI survey, almost 20 % of companies already fear that they will not survive for more than three months under the current framework conditions.
Tools play a key role in almost all industries and crafts. The German tool manufacturers not only ensure the reliable supply of high-quality tools, but also contribute significantly to increasing productivity and implementing new concepts such as Industry 4.0 with innovative new developments.
Around 110 tool and dowel manufacturers with production in Germany are organised at the FWI. The tool industry generated sales of 5.0 billion euros in 2019 and employed around 32,400 people. Maintaining the wide variety of German manufacturers, designing fair competition and strengthening Germany’s production location are the main objectives of the association.
In addition, there are 50 extraordinary members of the FWI. Some of these are industrial companies close to the tool and its distribution channels, but also service providers and foreign companies.
Stefan Horst, Managing Director FWI
Elberfelder Str. 77
Telephone number: 02191 438-21
Fax: 02191 438-79