German mechanical engineering reduces pace in Covid-19 lockdown

Given the stricter Covid-19 lockdown that was introduced in Germany in mid-December, and will probably run until the end of January, many mechanical engineering companies have extended their winter breaks.

This was the result of a flash survey amongst almost 800 member companies of industry assocition VDMA shortly before Christmas. About 77% of the companies surveyed planned a production break. For 35% of these, it will last longer than usual. Two-thirds of that group explicitly cite a reduction in the risk of contagion from Covid-19 as a reason for the extension. However, a lack of orders and low capacity utilisation also play a role in these decisions, VDMA notes   

On average, business interruptions last 15 days, Kallanish understands. According to the VDMA survey, 80% of the companies surveyed have already extended the options for home office or are planning to do so. 

“Everyone is called upon to do their part to break the wave of infection. This can only succeed through consistent action. Longer plant closures at the turn of the year are part of this,” VDMA president Karl Haeusgen says.

He says that the industry supports the decision by the government to carry out a lockdown, but notes that a general shutdown of manufacturing industries would have been wrong.

“With their hygiene concepts, the companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector ensure that contacts in the operating facilities are reduced to a minimum,“ he says.