Lesjöfors’ new CEO: “We see both challenges and opportunities in 2020”

2020-02-10 Lesjöfors’ market was heavily affected by external factors last year. An overall downturn in the automotive aftermarket, uncertainty with Brexit and the trade conflict between America and China was some of them. To be prepared for the future, Lesjöfors has made major investments in existing operations and acquired highly qualified spring manufacturers. Lesjöfors’ new CEO gives his thoughts on the coming market development.
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2019 goes to the history as an eventful year for Lesjöfors. At the same time as the overall business cycle showed signs of recession, many Lesjöfors companies experienced successful co-operations and many new exiting spring innovations. An interesting project from an innovative perspective worth mentioning is our partnership with Haldex, where we supplied springs and pressings to a disc brake for one of the world-leading truck manufacturers. Other exciting projects to highlight was our leaf springs and clips in Hövding , the Swedish airbag invention for cyclists and a new type of super dynamic tension springs for a new generation of trampolines .

Competence within the whole spring spectrum
Our group’s spring competence is both wide and deep. One of many examples is within the field of automotive springs where our spring experts utilize and further develop our skills for the benefit of our customers. A key factor for our success is sharing our knowledge among our companies and one way of doing that is our annual conference for spring technicians where we deep-dive into spring technology. Some companies also arrange well-attended customer training in spring design.

Large investments streamline production
Our strong finances have made it possible to invest in new machinery and in expanded production and storage facilities. Investments in environmental, safety and production equipment in our Chinese company have increased our competitiveness in the area considerably. We have also made major investments in top modern machinery in our UK company as well as in Tinglev, Denmark, with a new high-speed machine for compression springs which has expanded their capacity a great deal.

Acquisitions broaden capacity and product range
Other significant news for the Lesjöfors group’s development is the acquisition of Tribelt and de Spiraal in the Netherlands. The companies manufacture technical springs and industrial wire products as well as conveyor belts. Lesjöfors has also acquired the UK based gas springs and gas struts manufacturer Metrol Springs. The new companies broadens both capacity and product range and strengthen our position as one of the world-leading spring producers.

Challenges and opportunities in 2020
We see clear signs that the declining demand curve will turn in the first half of 2020 when we now have a clearer situation around Brexit and the trade conflict between the US and China. The outbreak of the Corona virus will cause a short-term disturbance in our Chinese production and deliveries from the region.

Thanks to our investments and structural adaptions to the market situation, we are well prepared for an upturn. Pressure on prices and a continued consolidation of the market demand a continuous strong focus on rationalizing our productivity. We have a good positon to gain market shares in some of our industrial segments. In the automotive aftermarket business we also see opportunities for increased volumes and market shares, even if the ongoing customer consolidation have been demanding for us.

We have plenty of new interesting business opportunities to follow up, especially through our new companies Metrol and Tribelt/De Spiraal. Our focus will be to expand these further in 2020.

Ola Tengroth, CEO

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