- General business situation largely seen as positive
- Businesses are now more positive about their own future developments
- Investment climate continues to be friendly
- Shift in growth drivers
- Clear upward trend in Composites Index
For the eighth time Composites Germany (www.composites-germany.org) has identified up-to-date KPIs for the fibre-reinforced plastics market. As before, the survey covered all the member companies of the four biggest umbrella organisations of Composites Germany: AVK, CCeV, CFK-Valley and the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Construction Technologies. Having received over 130 responses, the survey again represents a good cross-section of the entire composites industry.
As on previous occasions, the questions were left unchanged in order to ensure a smooth comparison with previous surveys, and the focus was largely on the qualitative data of general market developments as well as the specific situations in each composites segment.
General business situation largely seen as positive
When asked to assess the general business situation in three regions – Germany, Europe and worldwide – the respondents came to highly positive conclusions again. While in the previous survey the vast majority described it as “quite positive” or “very positive” in the three regions, the current survey even displays a slight increase in this positive view. For example, 84% of respondents see the current worldwide business situation as positive (see Fig. 1).
Fig. 1: Current business situation – worldwide
Cause for optimism also pervades attitudes towards the future in general. The vast majority of respondents believe that the situation will continue to develop positively in all the regions they were asked about, while some are even expecting further improvements (see Fig. 2).
Fig. 2: Development of general future business situation – worldwide
Businesses are now more positive about their own future developments
Whereas the previous survey displayed a downturn in the satisfaction of businesses with their own current and future situations, the current survey clearly shows an increase. In the last survey, for instance, 29% said they were expecting their situations to improve in Europe, whereas in the current survey this value has now risen to 40%. By contrast, the proportion of those expecting a negative development has stagnated at 5% (see Fig. 3).
Fig. 3: Development of own business situation – Europe
Investment climate continues to be friendly
Positive values also continue to be observed in the investment climate (machinery and human resources). A clear shift can be noted, in particular, in machine investments. As before, nearly every other company is planning to recruit more staff. On the other hand, there has been a decline in the proportion of companies planning machine investment or seeing such investments as likely. However, as before, about three quarters (73%) are still assuming that they will invest in machinery (see Fig. 4).
Fig. 4: Companies planning to invest in machinery
Shift in growth drivers
Where growth drivers are concerned, the greatest growth stimuli can still be expected from the automotive and aviation industries. As for material, CRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastics) continues to be the number one growth driver, mentioned by 38% of respondents. Nevertheless, this is a significant downturn compared with previous surveys. Regionally, this is the first time that Asia is expected to deliver the greatest number of growth stimuli on the composites market, while Germany has dropped to second place.
Clear upward trend in Composites Index
Compared with the previous survey, both the general economic situation and the companies’ own business situations are clearly seen as more positive. Whereas expectations on general business developments are similar to the previous survey, indicators of the businesses’ own futures are displaying a strong upward trend (see Fig. 5).
Fig. 5: Composites Development Index
The survey shows that the respondents see their prospects as very positive for the coming months. The market is therefore likely to continue in its dynamic development – all the more so as half of all respondents believe that their businesses will become more active on the market, while only 2% are anticipating a decline.
The next Composite Market Survey will be published in July 2017.
Image copyrights: AVK
Contact for press enquiries: Composites Germany, Dr. Elmar Witten, Management Spokesman
Tel. +49 (0)69 2710770
About Composites Germany
By working together within the trade association Composites Germany, the four strong organisations of Germany’s composites sector wish to strengthen this industry and also the relevant research in their country. They also want to define common positions and realise any shared interests they may have.
This is why the Federation of Reinforced Plastics (AVK), Carbon Composites (CCeV), CFK-Valley and the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Construction Technologies have pooled their resources, hoping to promote two forward-looking areas both within and for Germany: high-performance composites and automated production techniques.
Further details from: http://www.composites-germany.org