Congratulations on your succession to the world’s toughest job. Once again, the U.S. Constitution guided this country through a process that has toppled scores of rulers and regimes throughout history – the simple transfer of power. The presidential campaign was long and hard-fought, and though the mix of candidates promised to make this an extraordinarily historic election, the result guaranteed it.
Since 2002, global demand for wind turbines has tripled in value and growth in the U.S. has far outpaced that. With the stimulus of high fossil-fuel prices and the U.S. Production Tax Credit, wind-power-generation capacity is being added at a record pace. This growing market presents significant opportunities for forge shops that supply the wind-energy market.
In this anecdotal approach to next year’s business outlook, we interviewed a sampling of industry executives to get their viewpoints on business conditions as we move toward 2008. Here’s what they had to say.
Last time we noted that manufacturing news is increasingly being made in foreign countries. We mentioned India, in particular, but let us not forget China, about which I’ll borrow a succinct line from master storyteller J.R.R. Tolkien: “It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” In this ever-shrinking (and flattening, if you hold by Thomas Friedman’s book) world, we all live near the dragon.
The story has been told much too often in the past couple of decades. You know, the one about factories closing in this country because trends in the global manufacturing economy have effectively exported jobs from the U.S. to overseas locations.
Since the dismal post-9/11 business conditions, the aerospace industry has mounted a comeback. Buoyed at first by military expenditures for aviation components, then by the return of commercial aviation, the aerospace market at present is extremely strong. Here, three forging industry executives discuss their companies’ experiences during the last five years, as well as their outlook for the future.
Forges that serve the automotive sector face the challenges of dealing with an industry that has become global in scope. Foreign competition, whether producing overseas or expanding their operations to produce in North America, is a significant challenge to American forging companies. Those that will survive must learn to adapt to global business practices and seek ways to add more value to their products.