International News From the Field: Europe

Updated: Jan 14

It has been a particularly painful 2020 for machine tool sales in Europe due in no small part to reduced auto sales and output. On the bright side, the lull has allowed companies to focus on EV and hydrogen programs that will help drive the industry in the future. Commercial aircraft sectors have been slow, but new orders have been announced, signaling some recovery. European defense aerospace continues to do well. For more industry intel and tidbits, read on.

  • Oxford Economics and European machine tool builders association CECIMO expect a decrease of European machine tool consumption by over 33% in 2020 as overall volumes may fall to less than $16 billion. On a positive note, however, the estimates also show a strong recovery in 2021.

  • Automotive output in the EU has fallen 22% from 2019, with the forecast to end the year at 25% below last year.

  • European Union countries plan to phase out sales of internal combustion engine vehicles between 2030 and 2040, and in 2021, all leading European manufacturers will be offering a range of electric vehicles.

  • Hydrogen fuel cells are beginning to be implemented in the Europe automotive industry, beginning with heavy truck production.

  • Siemens and Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn have announced plans to test a hydrogen-powered train with a range of more than 370 miles.

  • Aerospace, facing problems in its civil sector due to lack of demand in widebody aircraft, is doing well in the defense sector. Airbus’ Eurofighters are selling particularly well. Germany has just placed a $6.35 billion order for 38 of them. Orders are expected from other countries, Switzerland and Spain among them.

  • Airbus Helicopters’ prototype Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) performed its first free flight at a drone test center in the south of France. This significant step follows the first flight in November 2019. The company plans to have it commercially operational before the end of 2021.

  • Ryanair, the largest airline in Europe, has decided to place a firm order for 75 additional 737 MAX airplanes, which increases its previous order to 210 jets.

  • U.S. aerospace companies remain good customers for European manufacturers. It has just been announced that France-based Safran is to supply BYE Aerospace with electric smart motors for its air taxi.

For more information, please contact Hubert Sawicki at hsawicki@AMTonline.org.

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