Trelleborg: “We Will Continue to be a Successful Company”
The president of Trelleborg’s Agricultural and Forestry Tire Business Unit, Paolo Pompei, has commented that the division will go ahead with the investments planned for the next two or so years. “In a time of uncertainty such as this, some companies choose to reduce, freeze or even dispose of their investments,” Pompei commented. “Trelleborg, however, looks to the future in a positive way and continues with all its planned investments for 2009 to 2011.” In its 2008 annual report, Trelleborg stated investments in the agricultural tyre sector would focus upon “further development of the customer offering.” The company outlined that its Wheel Systems’ development centre in Italy is in the process of working on the next generation of high-performance agricultural tyres in cooperation with leading machinery manufacturers, and is preparing to present new products that address the key requirements of high speed road capability, comfort, roadholding, low soil impact and environmental sensitivity.
Despite this optimism, the division president admits 2009 has not been an easy year, and the recovery will not arrive overnight: “For months the global crisis has affected all sectors of the economy. The outlook though is better, as leading analysts predict that from 2010 demand for consumer goods should gradually increase. However, it is still extremely difficult to foresee the timing and extent of a possible recovery with any degree of certainty.
“The situation within our industry is complex, with its overall state depending on many interrelated causes,” Pompei continued. “The credit crunch has had serious consequences everywhere, especially in the countries of Eastern Europe, an area where many agricultural machinery manufacturers had expected to achieve double-digit growth. In this region, we have seen a really sharp fall in registrations of agricultural vehicles, particularly in the medium and high-power tractor segment. The difficulties of the major vehicle manufacturers have a direct knock affect on us, the agricultural tyre producers that supply them.”
Yet while a full recovery following the downturn is still to come, Trelleborg is already planning for this inevitable occurrence. “I believe it’s important to define the strategic plan for the medium and long term, continuing along the path we have chosen without allowing the current crisis to divert us,” Paolo Pompei explained. “Thinking positively, certainly the agricultural machinery sector has good prospects for growth, particularly in the US and Eastern Europe. My optimism is founded on the knowledge that we can rely on our people – we have assembled a winning team, made up of professionals who live and breathe agriculture every day.
“Within Trelleborg Group, and particularly in our business area, we believe that the best way to cope with difficult times is to share information and embrace a common strategy,” Pompei concluded. “For this reason, despite the crisis, we will continue to be a successful company.”