GROB Press Conference for the EMO on September 18, 2023

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

I would also like to welcome you to today’s press conference on the first day of the EMO in Hanover.

I would like to report to you on how GROB sales have developed in recent months. As you know, GROB is a global player in the fields of machining and electromobility and is active in almost all markets.

1. Market development

To begin with, I will give you an insight into global market developments. I would like to start with the Chinese market.

The situation in China remains challenging; despite our efforts, order intake in China is well below our planned expectations. To meet the challenges, we have started to export selected projects from China to Europe. This gives us a better balance in our global portfolio. Following intensive discussions with our customers in China, we do not expect a noticeable improvement in the market until 2024. China continues to show impressive momentum. The extraordinary adaptability of Chinese market participants to new requirements is remarkable. It is important to note that projects usually have a life cycle of less than five years in China. This requires speed, flexibility and strong cost awareness from us. With our Chinese plant, we are meeting these challenges and see this as an opportunity to further expand our expertise in this exciting phase.

This contrasts with the European market. Here, as in the previous year, we were able to land an impressive number of projects in the first half of 2023, particularly in the area of electromobility. As a result, the focus on alternative drive systems in Europe remains strong. Our European customer landscape is extremely diverse and hybrid. We have the privilege of working with both renowned OEMs and TIER1 suppliers to the automotive industry.

Currently, we are experiencing exceptionally high demand for battery system assembly equipment. This includes equipment for the assembly of battery modules and packs as well as pilot plants for battery cells. Some of these innovations result from our close cooperation with Dürr and Manz.

In the coming years, Europe will continue to face the challenge of being able to efficiently serve the gigafactories for the production of battery cells. Some of our customers have already made investments in the Asian region and are gaining experience there. In North America, e-mobility is becoming increasingly important and we are actively involved in important projects. Our strategic partnerships are of great importance here. At the same time, our customers in North America continue to rely on conventional combustion technologies, albeit in conjunction with lower-emission engines.

The "local for local" strategy is now established globally. We acted early and adapted our production plants and technologies accordingly. The challenges of recent years have once again emphasized the urgency of introducing e-mobility across our global sites. Our customers are responding positively to these changes, which reinforces our decisions and shows that we are on the right track.

Overall, we are very satisfied with the market development so far this year. The successes in Europe and North America compensate for the challenging situation in China.

2. Sales figures

Our figures speak for themselves: in the first half of fiscal year 2023/24, we were able to increase order intake to a new record of approximately EUR 1 billion. The GROB Group’s growth is healthy and largely evenly distributed among the various product lines. However, we must and would like to continue to maintain a balance between machining and assembly technology. We can only do this by maintaining a consistently high level of incoming orders in the area of CNC machines. Apart from our machining business, we have also achieved further growth in order intake in the area of e-mobility. In concrete terms, this looks as follows: Half of the systems sold are used for the production of battery modules and packs, while the remaining share is evenly divided between systems for the assembly of stators, rotors and complete electric axes.

In machining technology, we currently mainly machine components for electromobility. The focus here continues to be on the production of stator housings, subframes, battery trays and frame structure components. In order to meet the needs of the market, we are consistently expanding our product range in this area. The best example of this is our F-series and our new 9-series, which we are already providing initial insights into at EMO. We have already placed corresponding offers for the new machines worldwide. We have already landed our first major order for a North American customer.

Sales figures for universal machines remain very stable. However, the focus of projects here is clearly increasingly on automation solutions.

3. GROB in transformation

The development of the transformation in the automotive industry, which is difficult to calculate even for GROB, has taken a good course for our company. Currently, our good production mix is approximately 38.1% machining technology, 38.4% e-mobility, 14.1% universal machines and 9.4% after sales. Looking ahead, we can already say that we will continue to grow in the coming years as a result of incoming orders in the field of electromobility.

4. E-mobility

We have now successfully established ourselves as a market leader in the electromobility sector.

In particular, we are experiencing strong demand for new equipment in the field of battery systems. We have already successfully launched projects for the assembly of battery modules and packs. We have developed prototype stations for battery cell production and are optimistic about the future. Our cooperation with Dürr and Manz from last year is aimed at further strengthening our market presence in Europe.

In the coming months, we also expect significant major orders for battery module and pack assembly equipment as well as important strategic orders for battery cell production pilot plants in Europe and North America.

5. Machining Technology

We are continuously expanding our machine portfolio in the field of machining technology. In doing so, we are geared to the requirements of the market. With the development of the 9-series, which is specially designed for machining extruded profiles, battery trays and mega and giga castings, we are ensuring that we support our customers in modern manufacturing and offer them what they currently need. A large proportion of the business area’s customers are in the global subcontracting market. Thanks to our worldwide production sites, we can therefore meet the "local to local" requirement in the best possible way.

Especially in machining technology, we perfectly balance out over- and under-capacities within the GROB Group; as a rule, we can almost always confirm the desired delivery date to our customers.

6. Universal machines

In the past year, we further expanded our area sales in the field of universal machines. We were thus able to fully achieve our sales targets in 2022 and are also very satisfied with the progress made so far this year. We have succeeded in this with our comprehensive portfolio in the area of 4- and 5-axis universal machines and the automation solutions that can be individually adapted to them. We are thus able to supply customers from almost all industries with our machines.

In addition, our employees in the Centers of Excellence make a major contribution to the success of the universal machine business. They enable us to provide our customers with industry-specific expertise and thus offer them the best possible support throughout the entire project process. We cover every industry, from medical technology to aerospace, from die and mold industries to digitization and automation.

7. Service

For us, the customer always comes first. Our primary goal in the area of service is to offer customized solutions that ensure our customers‘ productivity right from the start. We want to support our customers over the entire lifetime of their GROB equipment.

Our service offer is wide-ranging and is tailored to the individual needs of our customers. We have the right service offering for every product area of ours, from universal machines to machining technology to electromobility. Whether it’s a matter of starting production smoothly with the support of an experienced technician on site, or ensuring the long-term availability of machines and systems through condition analyses and preventive maintenance. We also attach great importance to being quickly available to our customers. We have a worldwide team of decentralized technicians and service locations in order to be able to offer global and needs-based advice at any time.

Our continuous product development and the optimization of our existing product portfolio in this area enable us to keep up with the times. We are always on the lookout for innovative solutions that are in line with current market trends, be it VR goggles for customer training or an AI chatbot that can answer service questions. At EMO, we will be presenting our service offering in full and visitors will be able to see the diversity and innovations for themselves live.

8. Global sales team

With the transformation of our entire business model, we have naturally also had to realign our sales activities in recent years. 

A few years ago, we launched our Centers of Excellence, which are now very well established. With them, we accomplish two things. On the one hand, we offer our customers an extremely high level of technical competence through our experts from the various sectors, who are available with help and advice on any questions they may have. Secondly, this enables us to develop our products continuously and tailor them to the needs of the respective industry.

Our KAM approach, especially in the aerospace and medical technology sectors, has also been very well received by our customers. A few weeks ago, for example, we were able to land a major order for 30 universal machines for North America in the aerospace sector. 

Market and competitor analyses are an important part of our day-to-day work so that we can continue to respond to potential trends and challenges at an early stage and maintain an overview of current market developments. The CRM system we have introduced also ensures internal transparency for our sales staff, enabling us to improve the performance of our employees even further.

We are currently in an intensive market research phase. Our sales team is actively analyzing new market developments and also considering the potential of our machines and automation solutions for the future. This phase is extremely important for us, as it is a never-ending process. Only in this way can we ensure that we can continue to offer our customers solutions that meet their needs in the future. At the same time, such analyses also help us to put our current product portfolio to the test and, if necessary, to react quickly and make adjustments.

We can proudly say that our worldwide sales organization has grown together strongly in recent years, despite all the adversity that global challenges have brought in recent years.

Thank you for your attention.

Firmenkontakt und Herausgeber der Meldung:

Industriestr. 4
87719 Mindelheim
Telefon: +49 (8261) 996-0
Telefax: +49 (8261) 996-268

Anna-Lena Sutter
Marketing Gruppenleitung
Telefon: +49 (8261) 996-6546
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