June brought the first signs of recovery

Freinberg, 23 July 2020 | Media

Up to 60% decline in orders at the height of the crisis -  Turnover at the previous year’s level possible due to additional purchases - CO2 reduction due to new lightweight vehicles

 

The Schwarzmüller group ended the first half of 2020 with a 12% decrease in production. Instead of 5,238 vehicles, 4,630 vehicles left the factory. “The current third quarter will be crucial for the financial year 2020. Because the order buffer from 2019 has been used up”, highlights CEO Roland Hartwig on announcing the figures for the first half of 2020 today, Thursday, 23 July, at the company headquarters in Freinberg near Schärding. From today’s perspective, the company will continue short time working until the end of September. June brought a pleasing increase in orders. If this level could be maintained, a return to normal working time would be possible.

The development of the past few weeks gives Hartwig a certain amount of hope. “For the first time since February, we were able to post a sensible amount of orders in June”, enthuses the CEO. However, this development needs to continue until the end of the year without any further interruption. Under these conditions, an annual turnover of around €360 million will be achieved, whereby the Schwarzmüller group could reach the magnitude of the financial year 2019 (€364 m.). Also, the current top priority: to retain the core workforce. Temporary workers were reduced, and the natural fluctuation was not balanced out. The number of staff was therefore reduced to 2,150.


Zigzag progress of the financial year

The automotive industry already had to accept a significant and unexpected slump in summer 2019. According to Hartwig, January and February brought a return to the average incoming orders, and at the high point in April, the new orders fell by 60% compared to the same month of the previous year. May showed a noticeable recovery, and June was kind to us, resumed Hartwig. However, he cannot plan more than six weeks ahead, as the company must act very cautiously in the next few months. The order cushion has been used up, and the workload is primarily from current orders.


Higher percentage of complex construction vehicles again

The current realistic annual turnover of €360 m. is possible due to the contribution of the subsidiary taken over in February - Hüffermann Transportsysteme – which specialises in container transport trailers. With this takeover, Schwarzmüller has further extended its competence in the area of infrastructure vehicles and will increase the percentage of this sector in overall production to significantly more than half in 2020.


Product initiative lightweight construction in autumn

This year, the Schwarzmüller group will add a strong emphasis to the product range, announces the CEO: “We will bring our completely revised lightweight construction vehicles for long haul transport onto the market. With this, the company is also setting a new course strategically. “We are completely stepping away from platform semi-trailers for goods transport from the standard sector. We will now only use lightweight construction vehicles for long haul transport. This is because lightweight construction means less CO2 emissions“, points out Hartwig. That way, Schwarzmüller increases its contribution to more environmental compatibility, and at the same time raises the economic viability due to higher additional loading capacity.


Market share increased internationally

Despite the difficult situation on all the markets, the Schwarzmüller group can also post one success. “For the first time in the company history, the international market share is more than 10%”, says Hartwig. “This secures the Schwarzmüller group the third place in the European manufacturer ranking, with its business model of premium niche products in a broad range. “Registration figures are not everything to us, but they show that we have lost less than many competitors”, explains Hartwig.

 

For further information:

Mag. Michael Prock, Prock und Prock Marktkommunikation GmbH, Press Officer
Rochusgasse 4, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Email: mpprock-prockat, Tel.: +43 662 821155.0
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The Schwarzmüller group is one of the largest European suppliers for drawn commercial vehicles. The company sets the benchmark for the industry with its premium direction and is a specialist in individual transport solutions in demanding industries, with more than 140 years of experience. With vehicles from the Schwarzmüller and Hüffermann brands, the company supplies the construction trade, infrastructure companies, raw materials and recyclable materials industry, and long haul transport companies.

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Roland Hartwig, CEO of the Schwarzmüller group, braced against the consequences of the Corona crisis in the first half of 2020.
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Currently Schwarzmüller is expecting a turnover level for 2020 similar to 2019.
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