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The Business Extra Curricular Activities of 2008

May Visit to China -- Expocet Team
Martin visited China in May again this year. He revisited our old friends in the already well established foundry in Shandong province.

The new automotive foundry is very impressive and as always the welcome was extremely warm and the meetings very constructive.

Martin also spent a short time at our new Chinese partner near Shanghai.

These two foundries produce excellent Investment Castings and provide a great partnership together with our Investment Casting Foundry here in the UK.

We continue to provide castings to many varied industries both produced in the UK and by our Chinese partners.

Martin also visited 1.2 (China) Ltd offices in Shanghai.

Thanks again to Alex, Forrest, Michelle, Kelly and Lena for their help over the last few years.

It was great to meet and discuss possibilities of extending the partnership between Expocet and 1.2 (China) Ltd on Tooling and Aluminium Pressure Diecastings in the future.

Business Achievements of 2008

  • The first half of 2008 has again been very successful for Expocet with new major automotive business won in France. There are plenty of projects where we are fighting for business on behalf of our customer base. The market is very buoyant in the foundry industry particularly, but energy and raw material prices continue to be a problem.
  • As reported in 2007, new extension has been planned by one of our clients to increase the capacity of SG, Grey Iron and ADI. The planned investment will increase capacity by around 30% There has been good progress in the building work and installation despite the occasional bad weather.
    The work should be complete in November 2008 and the foundry will come on production stream in January 2009. There has already been great interest in the extra capacity we can provide – not least because of the high quality and service we provide consistently.
  • October 2008 We are pleased to be representing a new customer for drop and upset forgings in steel based in the West Midlands. Our customer has a long successful history in this market specializing in low and medium volume forgings up to 100 kg in weight. How things change! Up to October of this year we were looking at full order books and a record year for many of our customers.

Business Thoughts of 2008

  • The worldwide recession, largely brought on by the folly of the Banks' lending policies over a number of years has really hit home. The saddest part of any recession is the impact on people's lives and livelihood. Our customers have been hit like many throughout the world and we have lost around 300 jobs throughout our customer base.
    In spite of this we have continued to win new business as prototypes (automotive) and also a new casting destined for a transmission application in high volume. In addition we have regained safety critical casting work for the railway industry in Germany. Ben Dills continues to have success in his role here and we are very confident for the future.
  • The £/€ exchange rate gives us a large advantage at present. We are very well placed in the UK to benefit from an upturn in the world economy when it occurs. Any company which is not positioned to take advantage of this in the coming months will face a very difficult future.
    Expocet offers companies an excellent vehicle to take advantage of this situation in the short, medium and long term but is is depressing to come across UK manufacturers still who export very little and who will not commit themselves to attacking this obvious and lucrative market.