More and more highly productive spinning mills are closing in Europe
Even very reputed, qualified innovative and productive spinning mills in Europe are closing, because there are less weaving mill and knitters in Europe. The latest victims are Hermann Bühler in Switzerland at Sennhof, near Winterthur (the subsidiary in the US will remain), but also Austrian spinning mills, such as Spinning Mill Feldkirch and Linz Textil are shutting down, and Austrian Borckenstein even went bankrupt. Among other reasons, the Turkish competitors are very eager to gain market share in Western Europe, because their exports to Russia are stagnating
The latest case in Switzerland is tragic, because Hermann Bühler has its roots 204 years ago. Over the years it has also served as a lab for new spinning machinery to nearby located Swiss Rieter. Hermann Bühler is the last Swiss cotton spinner to close and 139 persons will lose their jobs, a social plan will assist the collaborators, also assistance is granted to find other jobs. A portrait of the Company can be had here, and on the latest Rieter cooperation here, as well as on the celebration of the 200th anniversary here
Hermann Bühler’s yarn are the finest (Buhler Yarn), most innovating, and continuous investment in the most modern manufacturing equipment were the distinct marks of the company that will close the doors by October 2016 in Switzerland. The company will remain as proprietor of the site to be transferred into a realty company. The American subsidiary Hermann Buhler Yarns will continue and the CEO of both companies will continue to serve as US CEO.
For the Swiss company the situation has recently not been easy but the high specialisation, innovation and latest equipment allowed to continue. However, with the measure of the Swiss National Bank in 2015 with the termination of a fixed exchange rate of the CHF against the EUR, the situation became overnight very difficult. A drastic cost saving programme took place and CEO
Markus Kägi was before hopeful that the Swiss company would defend its existence. As we all know, during 2015-16 the economic world economic picture changed and slow development is evident. The company billed its customers in Europe in EUR and prices were not increasing. All of these factors were early 2016 not helping to not endanger the existence of the company, because also the order level sank drastically. The Turkish competitors took orders away offering at a price level where Hermann Bühler Switzerland could no longer compete. Kägi attests Turkish competitors agility in the markets and to deliver good quality yarns. The Turkish competitors also invested in larger manufacturing capacities. In addition the competitors – unlike the Chinese ones – offer a tremendous flexibility to quickly serve European customers. In the months of April and May the Hermann Bühler not very ambitious budget was out of reach, the management had to take the decision to close down operations in stages by the end of October 2016. All orders will be executed and financial obligations versus collaborators and suppliers will be fulfilled.
As mentioned before, the US subsidiary, founded in 1996 (capacity 3500 t of yarn annually) will continue and will not be touched by the closure of the Swiss site. The Swiss company registered a turnover of CHF 35 million and the American mill such a one of USD 30 million.