2020

"We are making advancements to our innovations"

17/01/20

In an interview with the "Bieler Tagblatt", Feintool CEO Knut Zimmer talked about the automotive market, the future of mobility and how the company responds to trends in the industry. Below you will find the most important statements from the interview.

On last year:

"It was quite challenging. On the one hand, we recorded a decline in volume – just like the market as a whole in the automotive sector – and, on the other hand, we also saw a slowdown in companies’ willingness to invest in our markets. At the same time, we also launched the production of new parts. We are making advancements to our innovations, so we will have good news to report next year."

On the markets:

"We are noting (...), that uncertainties are causing general consumer restraint. And this is leading to lower automobile sales and thus also to decreases in production, fewer orders for parts, and a decline in capital expenditures. Uncertainties are always detrimental to markets, and especially to globalized markets."

On the global climate change debate:

"In Europe, we are now used to dealing with this issue on a daily basis, but globally, things are different. We are focused on the environment, but other countries aren’t as active in this area yet and are more concerned with their economy."

On the future of mobility:

"We thought long and hard about the question: what can we do well? And how can we also implement what we do well in other approaches to mobility? This is why we entered the field of electrolamination stamping for electric motors. And processing sheet metal for fuel cells has been on our radar for quite some time now – this is a topic that has significantly gained in relevance over the last twelve months. You won’t find a single technical symposium these days where fuel cells aren’t on the agenda."

On the car of tomorrow:

"The car as we knew it five years ago will change. Battery-powered vehicles will become established with a certain market share. We don’t yet know how large this share will be. This is a hotly debated topic."

On other technologies:

"We will (...) find technology-agnostic solutions for various vehicles in China, but also elsewhere. The variety of technologies will increase, not only for the various types of vehicles, but also for markets and regions. And these technologies will be affordable. After all, many of the vehicles currently available are still far too expensive for most customers."

On CO2 targets and the impact on electric motors:

"In the near future, there isn’t any other solution than battery technology. However, this is due to regulatory stipulations. Battery-powered electric vehicles are calculated as zero. But everyone knows that’s not true. You have to get silicon from Chile, cobalt from Congo, and nickel from Indonesia, and then, under certain circumstances, the batteries may still be charged using electricity generated from coal – and all this is then calculated as zero. This isn’t fair, but it is what the government dictates, and this is why the battery is considered the solution."

On mobility:

"If you want to be mobile, you have to find the best solution for each individual route. This remains a challenge for us all. The world of mobility is actually growing. We are all becoming more mobile than we were in the past. And, as Feintool, we are expected to be mobile, to be active in the markets where our customers are – and this will continue to be the case."

Subscribers to the "Bieler Tagblatt" can find the entire interview under the following link. If you are not a subscriber, registration is necessary.