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VDMA Quick Survey on Corona Pandemic

Global supply chains slow down mechanical engineering

19. März 2020, 15:36 Uhr   |  Gerhard Stelzer

Global supply chains slow down mechanical engineering
© Adobe Stock

A quick poll by the VDMA has shown that companies are expecting further impairments and sales losses. Capacity adjustments will therefore also be made.

According to research by the German Mechanical Engineering Association (VDMA), the corona pandemic shows (VDMA), the corona pandemic is having measurable consequences in the mechanical engineering sector, which is characterised by global value-added chains. Almost 60 percent of all companies are already feeling the effects of the supply chains, although the effects are still predominantly classified as »low to medium«. This is the result of a VDMA flash survey, which was answered by over 1000 companies. »The disruptions to supply chains are becoming increasingly noticeable, with the supplier countries Italy and China so far causing the greatest concern«, explains VDMA Chief Economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers. These disruptions can only be partially averted by alternative suppliers.

Dr. Ralph Wiechers, VDMA: »Trotz hoffnungsvollem Start kommt der Maschinenbau auch 2014 nur schwer in Gang.«
© VDMA

VDMA Chief Economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers: »The disruptions in the supply chains are becoming increasingly noticeable, with the supplier countries Italy and China so far causing the greatest concern.«

Three-quarters of the companies that have not yet been affected expect adverse effects in the next three months. »This makes it all the more important that the movement of goods within the EU can continue to flow freely and that commuters, especially service staff, can also cross the borders to work«, demands Wiechers. With regard to the announcement of production stops in the automotive industry, the VDMA chief economist adds: »As long as the factory halls are not completely closed, our companies can theoretically continue to deliver the machines and systems ordered or carry out their service. But the more restrictions in our customer industries become, the more severely we as equipment suppliers will be hit.«

VDMA Quick Survey on Corona Pandemic

Bild 1. Fast 60 Prozent aller Unternehmen im VDMA spüren bereits Einschnitte durch die Corona-Pandemie.
Bild 2. Art und Ausmaß der Beeinträchtigungen der Unternehmen durch die Corona-Pandemie.
Bild 3. 19 Prozent der durch die Corona-Pandemie verursachten Störungen in der Lieferkette lassen sich nicht abwenden, 54 Prozent nur teilweise.

Alle Bilder anzeigen (3)

The VDMA flash survey also shows that all branches of mechanical engineering are affected by the effects of the pandemic. There is uncertainty in many companies whether the production losses can still be made up this year. Around 70 percent of the companies surveyed are expecting sales losses in 2020, almost half of them (45 percent) with sales declines of more than 10 percent. As a result, a good 40 percent of the mechanical engineering companies surveyed have already made capacity adjustments, mainly via the working time account, but also through short-time working. "Staff cuts are also increasingly becoming an issue in the medium-sized mechanical engineering industry," warns Wiechers. At the same time, about half of the companies are considering cutting back on investment plans for 2020.

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