Spanish supplier Gestamp has posted impressive growth in the last decade, multiplying sales to 8.2 billion euros last year from 2 billion euros in 2009. The group, controlled by the Riberas family, has developed a leading position in supplying metal components. It has grown both organically and through high-profile acquisitions, such as its takeover of ThyssenKrupp Metal Forming in 2011. Francisco Riberas, founder and executive chairman of the company, talked with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Andrea Malan about Gestamp's strategy and the challenges it faces.
What rate of growth do you forecast for your market?
According to a study we conducted a couple of years ago, the global market for our body-in-white and chassis business is worth 103 billion euros. At that time, 58 percent of this volume was done in-house, and 42 percent was outsourced, resulting in a total value of 43 billion euros. By 2025, outsourcing is going to rise to 50 percent of a growing market. That means the potential market will grow from 43 billion euros to 63 billion euros, so a nearly 50 percent increase despite a relatively limited expansion of total production volumes. This is a big opportunity for us.
Will Gestamp make any acquisitions?
We are not focusing on acquisitions. We will mainly grow in developing markets, where acquisition opportunities are not as frequent as in mature markets. We have reached an agreement this year to buy a plant in Brazil to support Toyota's local production, but our focus remains on organic growth. Of course, if chances arise to generate value for our customers, we will have a look.
Could Gestamp consider operating as a contract manufacturer to compete against Magna Steyr and Valmet?
We don't see it as a natural evolution for us. To succeed in a very competitive market, you cannot be the best at everything, so we try and remain very focused. If, in the future, a moment comes when possibilities to grow are limited, we will consider that.
What effects are megatrends such as connectivity, autonomous driving, electrification – having on Gestamp?
Few of these are related to our business. Probably the only one that is going to affect us to some extent is the move to electrified vehicles, which must be as light as possible to improve the driving range. Our strategy of offering lightweight steel, hot stamping and new aluminum technologies for products such as battery boxes goes in that direction. The main point is that our customers need to focus their financial and engineering resources on these new trends, so they want to increase outsourcing.