Berlin (dpa) – the rail industry benefited from well-filled order books in the corona crisis and achieved record sales in the first half of the year.
However, because hardly any new orders are currently coming in, especially from abroad, the situation of the industry was soon allowed to deteriorate significantly from the point of view of their association. "The supply chains have held up during the crisis," said the president of the association of the rail industry in germany (VDB), andre rodenbeck, in berlin. "This is evidenced by the very dynamic turnover."
In the first six months of this year, sales rose by more than a quarter year-on-year to 6.4 billion euros. "A plus that reflects the high order intake of the last two years," said rodenbeck. "And a plus that reflects the resilience of the rail industry in germany."4.4 billion euros of this was spent on the sale of rail vehicles such as locomotives and trains. The rest of the industry’s sales came from rail infrastructure components.
Around 40 percent of the german rail industry’s business is generated abroad. And that could become a problem in the coming months. "There is a massive slump in incoming orders for exports," said rodenbeck. "We are very concerned about this." According to the report, the receipt of new orders from abroad decreased by about a third, reaching a volume of only 2.3 billion euros in the first half of the year, compared to 3.6 billion euros in the first half of 2019.
While demand for infrastructure components increased in the first six months, in some cases significantly, both in germany and abroad, there was a shortage of orders, particularly for rail vehicles. Incoming orders from abroad fell by more than half to 1.4 billion euros in the first half of the year.
Because in germany the railroads and the federal government have significantly increased investment in the railroads in recent months and are continuing to do so during the crisis, the situation in germany is more relaxed. However, from the association’s point of view, it will not be able to compensate for the future revenue inflows from abroad. Rodenbeck therefore advocated that investments in the rail infrastructure included in the economic stimulus package should be implemented more quickly than previously planned. In particular, the often outdated signal boxes love to be modernized more quickly this way. Several thousand jobs created.