The voestalpine internationalization strategy focuses not only on the NAFTA region (Canada, the USA, and Mexico), but also on China. voestalpine is already a leader in the high-tech segment of several Chinese industries, and plans to grow further.
In the business year 2015/16 voestalpine generated revenue of EUR 900 million in Asia, which represents 8.2% of Group revenue. The majority of this revenue—EUR 380 million, or 3.4% of Group revenue—was generated in the growing Chinese market. As clearly laid out in its Group Strategy 2020, voestalpine has ambitious goals for the Chinese market, setting itself the target of increasing revenue in China to around EUR 800 million by the end of 2020. In all, the Group currently has 2,670 employees working at around 27 locations in China (including joint ventures).
Key industries in China
The primary customer sectors in China are mobility (railway infrastructure/turnout technology, automotive components) and energy (turbines, components for power stations). voestalpine now leads the high-tech segment in these sectors. In the BY 2015/16 around 21% of revenue was generated in the automotive sector, 21% in the railway, and 10% in the energy sector. Product highlights in the Chinese market include:
- Ultra high-strength body parts for premium automotive customers (phs-ultraform®)
- Production of high-quality steel tubes and sections for the automotive and commercial vehicles industry
- High-speed turnouts
- Premium wire for sophisticated applications, and
- Premium tool steels and forged material
Important investments & orders
In order to drive growth in China further, the voestalpine Group is investing in new plants. Six new plants have already gone into operation since 2012, with another four scheduled by 2020. At the end of October 2015, for example, a new automotive location for phs-ultraform® was opened in Shenyang to produce ultra high-strength automotive components. voestalpine is also extending its presence in the special steel sector with the acquisition of Advanced Tooling Tek (ATT) in Shanghai. One of the more important product segments served by ATT is large injection molds which are used in the automotive industry for the manufacture of plastic parts such as headlights.
voestalpine also has additional presence in the high-speed turnouts sector with CNTT Chinese New Turnout Technologies Co., Ltd. in Qinhuangdao, and in the production of premium wire with voestalpine Wire (Suzhou) co., Ltd.
The Steel Division also plans to expand direct supplies of high-quality steel, especially to premium automotive customers and to the mechanical engineering industry. This should also facilitate market entry for highly innovative electrical strips. It could also usher in increased involvement in casting operations.