Tornos is continuing to expand its activities in the mid-range machines segment. In association with a machine-tool manufacturer established in China, the Group is investing there in the development of a range of automatic lathes, as well as in setting up its own production capacity. Tornos holds a majority stake in this future joint undertaking.
At present, the mid-range products manufactured under the alliance with Tsugami can only be offered in Europe. The strategic reorientation initiated in 2012 envisages a significant increase in sales and market share outside Europe in this segment. To implement this strategy, a new company is being set up in China in cooperation with a local partner. The aim is to enable the Group to develop its own machines for the mid-range product segment.
Strategic investment in the growing market for mid-range products
Based in Xi’an (Shaanxi Province), the new company, Tornos Xi’an Machine Works Co., Ltd., in which Tornos holds a 70% stake, designs and manufactures sliding headstock lathes. The remaining 30% stake is held by an industrialist who is the founder and majority owner of the machine tool manufacturer XKNC. XKNC has many years of experience working with Japanese manufacturers and successfully produces high-quality products. This will allow Tornos to offer new mid-range products worldwide which are able to compete on both quality and price. Tornos also cooperates with XKNC’s sales organization in China, which gives it extensive access to customers in this type of product segment.
Closing a chapter
On this basis, and particularly in the light of this development, the contractual relationship between Tornos and Tsugami will come to an end in 2014 in conditions that still have to be defined between the two partners.
The first machine following this new development has been announced for this year. Will it be unveiled at EMO? The executives we contacted at Tornos were not authorized to confirm or infirm that theory, but it would be the perfect opportunity. We will come back on this product as soon as possible.