voestalpine from the Fall of 2008 up to the Present
In the fall of 2008, voestalpine is affected by the economic slump that is a result of the worldwide banking and financial crisis. Incoming orders decline dramatically. In response to the progressively deteriorating situation, the Group quickly implements its broad-based crisis management that focuses on Group-wide cost optimization and efficiency improvement programs. Under the shadow of this major economic crisis, the business year 2009/10 is the hardest, most challenging year in decades. In the first nine months of the business year 2010/11, however, the Group again generates significant increases in both revenue and operating result.
In 2008, the voestalpine Group continues to strengthen its leading position on the fast-growing railway market due to orders for turnouts for high-speed railway lines and becomes number one in Asia for high-speed turnouts. In 2009, turnout components again play a major role when the production for turnout components is launched in France. Through a joint venture with a Chinese company, voestalpine receives the award for delivery of high-speed turnouts for the most significant railway project in China thus far, the railway line Beijing to Shanghai. In the same year, the Group continues to expand its presence in the USA. For example, the US subsidiary Roll Forming Corporation (RFC) receives a record order from RTI for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
voestalpine supports Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, when it is named European Capital of Culture 2009 (“Linz 09” project). In the fall of the same year, the festive opening of the voestalpine Stahlwelt is celebrated.
Despite the global world crisis that marked the business year 2009/10, in 2010, voestalpine Stahl GmbH continues to implement its EUR 700 million investment program “L6” (“L” for the Linz site and “6” for the increase of crude steel capacity from around 5.4 to 6 million tons per year), although individual parts of the program are postponed. Within the scope of this project, in 2011, the renovated wide strip mill is put into operation, the melting pot gas holder is built as well as a new deNOx system for the denitrification of sintering exhaust at Europe’s cleanest sintering plant. The latter is commissioned in December 2012. The Böhler Welding Group opens an expanded plant for welding consumables in Indonesia.
In order to increase the Group’s efficiency, a new Group structure is decided upon in 2012.
The five existing divisions are reorganized into four divisions and the decision is made to rename them and to only use the divisions’ English names in the future: Steel Division (previously Steel Division), Special Steel Division (previously Special Steel Division), Metal Engineering Division (previously Railway Systems Division) and the Metal Forming Division (previously the Automotive Division and the Profilform Division).
2012 – In the coming years, voestalpine will invest more than EUR 100 million in new plants in China, the USA, South Africa, Romania, and Germany as part of a comprehensive globalization strategy in the automotive sector. In the USA, ground is broken for the new plant of the Metal Forming Division in Cartersville, Georgia, that will produce automobile components. The Group acquires a new company in the special steel segment, thus expanding its market position in North America.
After a phase of consolidation in the wake of the financial crisis, investment activity has intensified significantly since the business year 2012/13. The Group takes on the construction of a direct reduction plant in Texas, the Group’s largest ever investment abroad. The groundbreaking ceremony takes place in April 2014.
In 2012, the Group’s global automotive presence is dramatically expanded with the “phs” future-directed technology; the Automotive Division enters into the largest individual contract in its history with a leading European automobile manufacturer.
A revolutionary development of the patented phs-ultraform® technology, a hot-dip galvanized, ultra-high-strength steel for lightweight auto body panels, is presented at the International Automobile Salon in Geneva. The year 2012 is also the 60th anniversary of the breakthrough by researchers of the then VÖEST that made the LD steelmaking process possible and its development to a process that was ready to be used in production; this process remains a legacy and a model for future generations of researchers. In the business year 2013/14, voestalpine increases expenditures for research and development to a new record of EUR 130 million; this amount is surpassed by a new high of EUR 141 million in 2014/15. With 700 researchers worldwide, voestalpine is an extremely research-intensive company.
By 2013, its employees hold a 14% stake of the shares of voestalpine AG. It is the largest employee shareholding in Austria. The Group’s more than 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries on all five continents have around 48,000 employees worldwide. In the business year 2013/14, the Group reported revenue of EUR 11.2 billion.