Die Casters Cite Increased Shipments, Renewed Business Confidence Moving Into 2005

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The North American Die Casting Association points to current industry trends and 2005 business forecasts as indicators of a strong and growing market

Contrary to the dire assessments by some in the U.S. foundry industry, the Chicago-area based North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) points to current industry trends and 2005 business forecasts as indicators of a strong and growing market.

“Confidence plays a key factor in how an industry or company makes decisions about the direction it will take in the future,” notes NADCA President Daniel L. Twarog. “NADCA’s quarterly CEO Confidence Barometer shows that 2004 will see double digit increases in the percentage of aluminum and magnesium shipments. Even zinc shipments rose by a few percent in the first of this year, and more importantly, there is renewed business confidence.”

According to Twarog, aluminum die casting shipments have had two years of solid growth and should continue to do well through 2005. Yearly totals have already returned to pre-recession levels. Shipments will end this year 6.6% better than 2003 with additional gains of 1% in 2005. Zinc shipments have been picking up for the last four months, and the second quarter was the best three-month period since 2000. Year/over year growth appears to be back into positive territory. Presently, NADCA represents 66% of all the aluminum cast in North America and 95% of the magnesium and zinc.

“When one considers the total shipment estimate for 2004 and forecast data for next year, it is expected that we will be a few percentage points off our record high shipments recorded in 1999 for aluminum,” he adds. This activity, coupled with the North American die casting industry’s current marketing and public relations initiatives, speaks to an industry that is clearly rebounding and ready to tackle the next set of challenges in a progressive, forward-thinking fashion.

NADCA’s Twarog asserts that it’s time for all die casters and those providing equipment, supplies and services (in North America) to have renewed optimism and gain some confidence in their company’s ability to compete in a global marketplace.

“There are always some that will say that numbers are inflated because the growing number of imported die castings is included, and we can’t make any money on the record number of castings that will be produced. It’s my impression that some of these people like to be depressed. Manufacturing’s greatest challenge has always been to produce something at the lowest cost and charge the highest amount that someone will pay. How has that challenge changed from 1940 until today?”

Industry designers and purchasing agents are now recognizing that North American die casters are adhering to internationally recognized standards and use advanced technology and processes that result in engineered products of the highest quality in the world. By promoting this message, NADCA will help the die casting industry overcome challenges including competition from offshore sourcing, which often appears less expensive because of the lower labor costs and fewer regulations, according to Twarog.

About the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA)

Headquartered in Wheeling, IL, NADCA (http://www.diecasting.org) represents the world’s most effective die casters creating the world’s best products. Working with a North American die caster guarantees innovation, integrity, accessibility, and reliability. The organization serves as the voice of the industry, promoting growth and enhancing its members’ ability to compete domestically in the global marketplace.

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Norwin A. Merens
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