German electronics manufacturers overcame challenging international markets to achieve 2.4% year-on-year growth for the 11 months to November 2014, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) reports. Turnover in the branch is expected to have totaled €171bn (approx. $200bn) over the year.
“German electronics manufacturers faced a testing export environment in 2014 and this was reflected in monthly variations. However, the annual performance is encouraging and testament to the strength of the sector in Germany,” said Max Milbredt, electronics market expert at Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).
ZVEI reports that exports of electrical products and electronics to China (primarily automation technology, industrial control and switchgear, measurement instrumentation, and electronic components) increased 15.9 percent to hit €12.3bn (approx. $14.4bn) in the period from January to October over the same period in 2013.
“The growth in exports to China is staggering,” said Milbredt. “China has surpassed the US for the first time as the largest importer of German electrical products, even though exports to the US also grew by 3.2%. In recent years China was also the number one country for foreign direct investment projects in the German electronics sector. This proves the ever greater integration of the two countries’ industries.”
Total exports of German electronics grew between January and October by 3.9 percent year-on-year to €136.8bn (approx. $160bn). Almost two thirds of these exports were to Europe, with exports to France growing by 2.9%.
ZVEI predicts continued growth for the sector in 2015, in part thanks to “Industry 4.0”, part of the German government’s high-tech strategy to transform industrial manufacturing with smart factory equipment, cyber-physical systems, intelligent machine-to-machine communication, and the Internet of Things.