UNTERGRUPPENBACH -- After undergoing restructuring with government loan guarantees of 20 million euros ($29 million), struggling German transmissions maker Getrag GmbH aims to be profitable next year, helped by new orders form Ford Motor Co. and Renault SA for its fuel-saving dual-clutch technology. Reporter Matthias Krust of Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche spoke with Getrag President Tobias Hagenmeyer about the company's prospects.
Ford, Renault dual-clutch contracts will help Getrag to regain profitability
China will continue on its record course, India will grow and the U.S. will stabilize but there will be no growth in the west European market because incentive programs available in many countries are running out.
I won't hazard a prediction for next year but we will have to shoulder a revenue decline of 20 percent in 2009. Starting from this level, we are working our way back slowly.
We can be back in the black in 2010. In addition to the restructuring, Getrag is benefiting from new contracts from Ford and Renault. Both manufacturers are buying our new dry dual-clutch transmission. Despite the general stagnation, we have the wind at our backs.
We are retooling our factory in Bari, southern Italy, for the new product. Regular production is due to start in early 2010 at the latest. By 2011 or 2012, Bari should be operating at full capacity. We will assemble complete transmissions for the European market in Bari and build transmissions that will be completed in Mexico for Ford in North America. Total annual volume for Bari and Mexico will be about 570,000 by 2012.
Certainly banks are looking more closely at risk in individual cases than they were before because they themselves are under pressure. In the end, it will depend on banks orienting themselves to the future potential of the company and not letting themselves be swayed too much by the bad balance sheets for 2009.