North America is an important growth market for the voestalpine Group. But what makes North America, and especially the USA, so attractive, both as a market and an industrial location?
voestalpine is continuing to drive forward internationalization as part of its Group 2020 strategy. In its efforts to expand outside Europe, the voestalpine Group has placed a particular focus on North America. This includes opening a new production site in Cartersville, Georgia, and the groundbreaking ceremony at the end of April 2014 for the planned HBI plant in Corpus Christi, Texas.
North America is also becoming ever more popular amongst companies other than the voestalpine Group. So what makes North America, and especially the USA, so popular, both as a market and an industrial location?
Attractive industrial location
There are two key reasons for companies such as voestalpine to invest in the USA:
- On the one hand, as the world’s largest national economy, the USA offers the voestalpine Group the chance to grow in many relevant markets,
- On the other hand, the economic conditions in the USA make it attractive as an industrial location.
For energy-intensive industries, it is the historically low energy prices which are decisive: the gas price in the USA is around a third of that in Europe, and in Austria industry has to pay more than twice as much for its electricity.
The low energy prices paired with the politically stable and predictable business environment are further important criteria in location decisions. For in contrast to Europe, there is a clear political commitment to industry, supported by concrete initiatives such as the SelectUSA program, designed to encourage large international Groups to invest in the USA.
Just starting to reindustrialize
The positive developments in the energy sector will continue in the USA: by 2020, the United States will be the world’s largest energy producer, and by 2030 it will have achieved energy self-sufficiency. But it’s not only these hard facts that make the USA fertile ground for industry; soft factors with an impact on business life are also important in the USA’s current process of reindustrialization. On the one hand, the educated elite is benefitting from greater ethnic diversity and the more varied linguistic competency this brings, and on the other, there is the added advantage of Americans’ flexibility and mobility.
In contrast, it is erroneous to believe that the USA takes environmental protection any less seriously than do Europeans. The USA has similarly strong environmental regulations as in Europe.
voestalpine in North America: the goal is to triple revenue
Currently, 8% of Group revenue, which is around EUR 1 billion, is generated in North America. The Group aims to triple revenue in North America by 2020, representing a rise from 8% to around 15%. To date, all of the voestalpine Group’s four Divisions are represented in North America, with 68 sites and 36 companies in Canada, Mexico, and the USA, and with a staff of 2,503 employees.
You’ll find more data and facts in the voestalpine in North America infographic.
Focus on North America: