German machine tool orders rising again

German machine tool orders rising again



Frankfurt am Main, 19 November 2013.
– In the third quarter of 2013, order bookings for Germany’s machine tool industry rose by 9 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2012. Domestic orders were up by 12 per cent, while orders from abroad were up by 6 per cent on the preceding year’s figure. For the first nine months of 2013, there was an overall drop of 6 per cent: domestic orders fell by a tenth, and orders from abroad by 4 per cent.

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), Frankfurt am Main

“Demand for machine tools has achieved the long-awaited turnaround”, comments Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the sectoral organisation VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt am Main. The two months of August and September, in particular, saw double-digit growth. This applies to both domestic and export orders, and to the two technology segments involved, metal-cutting and forming machine tools. Wilfried Schäfer sees this as reflecting not least a boost from the EMO Hannover 2013, the world’s premier trade fair for the metalworking sector, which was held from 16 to 21 September.

For the year as a whole, however, so far it’s substantial orders for forming technology that have been driving the German manufacturers’ business forward. They were up by 61 per cent in the year’s third quarter, and by 27 per cent over the year as a whole.

China, the largest market, continues to give cause for concern. Demand was still falling significantly in the year’s first half. “The new Chinese government is rigorously reviewing the entire investment programme of the ongoing five-year plan”, explains Wilfried Schäfer. Before this process has been completed, he added, a substantial recovery in demand cannot be anticipated. Contrary to expectations, however, Western Europe has been doing better than anticipated. Order bookings in Central and South America have also shown double-figure growth. In Asia, the figures are up in South Korea and the South-East Asian countries.

“In view of the improving order situation, the VDW’s current production output forecast for the ongoing year is not at risk”, said Wilfried Schäfer in conclusion. It is predicting consolidation at the preceding year’s high level.


The German machine tool industry ranks among the five largest sectors in the country’s mechanical engineering segment. It supplies production technologies for metalworking applications to all categories of manufacturer, and makes a crucial contribution towards progressing innovation and productivity in the industrial sector overall. Due to its absolutely key position for industrial production output, its development is also an important indicator for the economic vigour of the country’s industrial sector as a whole. In 2012, the German machine tool industry produced machines and services worth around 13 billion euros, and was employing 70,900 people (status: December 2012, firms with more than 20 staff). This corresponded to growth of 10 per cent.

Graphics: Order bookings and sales in the German machine tool industry


Sylke Becker


+49 69 756081-33


+49 69 756081-11


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