Strategy Review

Climate change, Corona, Tesla and the consequences

Lesedauer: min

The aluminium foundry industry has changed noticeably for everyone since the fourth quarter of 2018. After years of permanent growth (worldwide cast aluminium production 2000 approx. 8 million t → 2017 approx. 18 million t), there was a decline in production figures in the 4th quarter of 2018 for the first time in 50 years (except for the crises 1994/95 and 2008/09).

At this point, the ever-increasing discussion about global climate change had a significant influence. The automotive industry with its classic combustion engines was generally quickly identified as a major root cause. E-mobility was suddenly on everyone's lips. As a result, the production figures of the previous bread and butter parts (powertrain) of the aluminium foundry industry declined sharply.

In the midst of the decline in production, which was developing into a crisis for the foundries, the corona pandemic came at the beginning of 2020 and thus became a real crisis catalyst. Favored by the discussions on climate change, the American automobile company Tesla increasingly became the focus of global interest. The politically and socially increasing pressure to reduce CO2 , the resulting economic successes (share price, company results) and the partly existing technology dominance (battery, software and hardware technology) were the main pillars of the new Tesla success.

With Tesla's success, processes and technologies used there attracted new attention. A well-known development in the automotive and foundry industry for years towards ever larger structural parts and thus larger casting machines reached a new dimension through the "courageous" Tesla strategy.

Gigacasting was born and was accepted and "copied" surprisingly quickly by the entire automotive industry as a guarantee of success. Even if the improvement in the sales and earnings situation that has started in the meantime has eased the situation of the foundries somewhat, the environment and the challenges have not changed.

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