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Despite selective crises, 2015 does not pose any existential threats
Flexible reactions to market conditions and systematic expansion of the product portfolio will ensure Schlemmer's consistent, global expansion strategy again this year
Schlemmer CEO Josef Minster considers pessimism completely inappropriate in the current global economy. "The economy is the same as real life. The sun shines for a while, then a few dark clouds appear. You have to temporarily adjust to different conditions. However, it is very important not to lose confidence or even conjure up a disaster. Many indicators suggest that 2015 may also be a stable year with profitable growth."
In Russia, where the automotive sector is undergoing a considerable downturn caused by the European Union's economic sanctions, the persistently low oil price and the collapse of the rouble, Schlemmer began reacting to the situation back in 2014 by flexibly adjusting production capacities. "To date, the Russian industry is not able to produce vehicles independently without foreign suppliers. However, the rouble's slump and the economic sanctions have made purchasing the parts required more difficult and more expensive. We are in the lucky position of having very flexible production facilities in Russia, with which we can reduce capacity at short notice and then increase it again quickly when the market recovers," commented Josef Minster.
The management intends to react to the current economic slowdown in Brazil, where Schlemmer has had a branch presence since 2002, by expanding its product portfolio this year. "Of course, we are feeling the downturn in Brazil, which was already reflected in a reduction in the number of parts sold last year, However, we have the opportunity to significantly expand our offering in Brazil by establishing two injection-mould manufacturing sites. We therefore expect Schlemmer do Brasil to remain stable overall this year," according to Minster.
The Chinese market, of which many analysts take a highly critical view due to the slowing economic growth, is the cause of least concern for the Schlemmer Group. "No tree grows to the sky, not even in China. Of course, the country's economy is reaching the limits of its growth after a series of boom years," Minster emphasised. "Nevertheless, the potential of this huge market has not been exhausted in many areas, so we as the Schlemmer Group can still expect growth of between 15 and 20 percent for 2015."
Against this backdrop, it is no wonder that Schlemmer is sticking to its ambitious growth plan again in 2015, which envisages doubling revenues by 2020 and increasing the number of employees to around 3,000. This includes the systematic refinement of plastic, metal and heat treatment procedures and increasingly the development and manufacturing of complex components and entire assemblies in both the automotive and industrial sectors.
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