The year 2012 was historical in many ways: First of all, the common people in the street discovered
that the crisis in 2008 and 2009 didn’t impact the financial world at all. Furthermore, the euro
crisis revealed the true face of the European Union — that “the shirt of each country is closer
than the jacket.” The selfishness of some member countries culminated in severe problems, as they
warned countries that had better control over their economies “to leave us alone with our
problems.” All this shuffled the global finance markets heavily. Brave new world!
The textile machinery supplier market changed its face drastically. For the first time ever,
experienced people in the industry are saying that the only certain thing for the time being is the
uncertainty. It will be interesting to compare the ITMA catalogue of 2011 with the forthcoming ITMA
2015 catalogue in Milan. Some examples? In June 2012, at ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 in Shanghai, Toyota
Industries Corp., Japan, and Trützschler GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, announced their partnership to
develop, manufacture, and market combing machines.
Chinese Shopping Tour
After several takeovers by Chinese manufacturers, the announced acquisition of Germany-based
A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG by Fong’s Industries Co. Ltd., Hong Kong, was a true
sensation. However, when the Rupp Report recently spoke to involved people, they didn’t seem to be
frightened about this new ownership.
Just one month earlier, textile community heads turned when the news arrived that Toyota
made a tender offer to acquire Switzerland-based Uster Technologies. The acquisition eventually was
carried out successfully. Also here, from talking to Uster staff, it was recognizable that the
Swiss feel very good with the new owners.
Another indication that the global textile map has changed was seen in Hall W1 at ITMA Asia:
For the first time in the existence of any ITMA, one company occupied one full hall alone: the
China Hi-Tech Group Corp. (CHTC). In contrast to the ITMA rules that every section of the industry
must be grouped in separate halls, CHTC assembled all its companies in Hall W1, without any
China is still the number-one country in the textile industry, but for how long? According
to the 2011 International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics report released by the
Switzerland-based International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), worldwide shipments of
shuttleless weaving machines continued soaring in 2011 to 153,750 machines, an increase of 44
percent from the previous year’s record of 107,000. China received 128,100 looms — 83 percent of
the total; followed by India with 9,100 machines, or 6 percent; Indonesia with 2,900, or 1.9
percent; and Korea with 2,500, or 1.6 percent.
Oerlikon Becomes Saurer Again
But the sensation of 2012 was yet to come, and it happened some days before Christmas: The
Oerlikon Group sold its Natural Fibers and Textile Components business units and signed an
agreement with the Jinsheng Group of China. After a long trail, Oerlikon Textile will retake its
traditional name, Saurer. The surprise of the deal was the fact that Heinrich Fischer, the former
CEO of Saurer, is back on duty: He will be the chairman of the new group.
However, in spite of the “Ponzi scheme” under which the global debts are rising
tremendously, and the fragile situation, caused — again — by financial jugglers, there are some
positive signals: As ever, the textile industry was the first to crash but also the first to spread
its wings again in the wind. And, dear readers, believe it or not, the U.S. spinning industry is
investing heavily in new equipment and even new mills.
And Edda Walraf, marketing director, Rieter Ltd., Switzerland, said last year after ITMA
Asia: “Rieter believes in Asia. This is the reason why we invested in new factories and better
market access in India and China. Volatility of raw material prices and increasing demand in
sustainability will continue to be important. Fast reaction times to market needs and new
technologies will be the key issues to stay competitive in the future. We must provide valuable
solutions, which offer a fast return on investment, ensure technological leadership from fiber to
yarn, support customers with a high level of services from making investment decisions to running
entire installations.” These words are valuable for all.
The Rupp Report would like to express its gratitude to all its readers during the last year.
It will strive to continue to be your window into the textile industry. May all of you around the
globe continue to be active and supporting contributors to a lively and informative dialogue. Happy
New Year and thank you all.
January 16, 2013