- Value of the sale unknown
- 40% expansion predicted in China
- MWS to be EU’s largest aluminum sand caster
The Friedrichshafen foundry in Germany has been sold by GF Automotive to MWS Gruppe. The foundry casts aluminum powertrain and chassis components for passenger and commercial vehicles. GF Automotive recently sold the plant, and an aluminum foundry in Garching, Germany, to MWS Gruppe.
Georg Fischer Automotive, a ferrous and aluminum foundry and aluminum diecasting group plans to expand its presence in Asia, while downsizing its European organization. The company is discontinuing its European aluminum sand casting operations, and has sold two foundries at Friedrichshafen and Garching, Germany, to the MWS Gruppe.
“The integration of our aluminum sand casting activities into the business of MWS leads to a meaningful consolidation in this market sector and allows GF Automotive to focus on its core activities,” explained Yves Serra, CEO of Georg Fischer.
The value of the sale was not announced. GF noted the two foundries of and belong to Georg Fischer since 1999 and employ 250 (Friedrichshafen) and 180 (Garching) workers, respectively.
MWS is an aluminum casting and CNC machining company that supplies German automakers, bicycle producers, engineering companies, and electrical components manufacturers. “With this acquisition we will become the technological leader as well as the largest supplier in aluminum sand casting in Europe,” explained Dr. Christoph Senft, co-owner of MWS Industrieholding GmbH. “The existing management will stay in place to guarantee the continuity of the business. We are happy to have such a knowledgeable and skillful team on board.”
GF Automotive said it would expand its current operations in China, which include a ductile iron automotive foundry at Kunshan and an aluminum and magnesium diecaster at Suzhou.
Georg Fischer stated it anticipates continued growth in demand from the Asian automotive market, and a “subdued situation” in Europe.
“The expansion of GF Automotive in China will therefore continue at a substantial pace,” according to a statement. “In the last six years, sales in that country went up from 0 to 10% of the total turnover of the corporate group. The strong local demand will require an increase in the production capacity of the two existing iron and aluminum diecasting foundries of approximately 40% within the next two years.”
GF Automotive offered that its organizational strategy calls for operations to be maintained on the basis of achieving or maintaining a market-leading position. This means that the iron foundries and aluminum diecasting plants in Europe will continue. One of those plants, the iron foundry at Mettman, Germany, was remodeled with more extensive automation systems.