The measures undertaken to contain the spread of Covid-19 have led to order downturns in the German engineering industry. Among member companies of the German engineering industry association VDMA over 90 per cent of respondents report adverse effects, a third of them “serious” (https://www.vdma.org/v2viewer/-/v2article/render/48281066). The corona crisis has made its mark on the order books of Mayer & Cie. too. “After a promising first quarter of 2020,” says sales director Wolfgang Müller, “our customers have since the end of March, when more or less the entire world went into lockdown, scaled orders down sharply. Fortunately, there are a few markets keeping up some of their regular activities while observing strict measures to contain the corona pandemic.”
One of these markets is Uzbekistan. The Uzbek government has set itself the target of having local cotton processed in Uzbekistan. That is why the country is driving forward the development of spinning mills, knitting factories and garment makers. According to the trade journal Gesamtmasche (www.gesamtmasche.de/news/textilstandort-usbekistan/), up to US$ 2.5 billion is to be invested in textile and clothing industry development between 2018 and 2021. “In contrast to machine orders, which are directly related to orders received by the customer, this programme is less dependent on day-to-day economic conditions,” Wolfgang Müller says.
Mayer & Cie. has been a machinery supplier for the government’s programme since the project’s inception, shipping a steady number of machines to Uzbekistan every year. Demand is mainly for mechanical models, first and foremost the Relanit 3.2 HS with an open-width frame. This model with its relative technology is seen as a cotton specialist; its major selling points are reliability, even with greatly fluctuating yarn qualities, secure plating and strength of output. Other models frequently shipped to the Central Asian country are the D4 2.2 II for rib and fine rib knits the D4 3.2 for interlock 8-lock structures and the MBF 3.2 for manufacturing three-thread fleece.
“The door openers to the Uzbek market are sure to have been the quality and performance of the Mayer machines,” says the company’s sales director in retrospect. “Yet, what has enabled us to gain a good foothold in the market is our after-sales team. They achieve top marks for commitment, swift response times and competent service support.”
Does that mean the outlook for the future is good? Definitely, says Wolfgang Müller. “We can work on the assumption that Uzbekistan will continue to back textile industry development. With their modern, high-quality equipment export opportunities seem promising, too. Once we’ll have overcome the Covid-19 crisis, this should further increase the growth trend.”
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