Heidelberg Ramping Up for Debut of VLF Presses
It’s just that the economy will weaken at some point of time. Germany is still growing and will grow faster in 2007 than it did the year before. And 2006 was a record sales year for us in Germany. We sold more printing presses in Germany than we did in the United States. The U.S. has been flat the last three to four years. It’s just now picking up.
But when I talk here to U.S. customers, everybody is complaining about weak pricing. Even so, they’re investing in more capacity, more flexibility and more applications, so that they can better adapt to the needs of their customers. Despite the fact that consumption might go down a little, industrial products like printing presses will still have a good year.
And how is Heidelberg preparing for the future? We have a very clear target to also move more in consumable sales and in services. We want to increase our service and consumables businesses in the future because we think that, by being present at customer sites with our machines, we can also be a good partner for their entire solution. This will help protect us in a downturn.
A downtourn is always a downturn in investment, not so much a downturn in print. Continuing to provide services, spare parts and consumables will cover most of our fixed costs for the sales and service units we have throughout the world. This provides a good buffer if, and when, there ever were an economic downturn. PI