With an investment volume of €4.8 million up to the end of 2008, Schottel GmbH plans “to nearly double the manufacturing capacity for large-scale propulsion systems and at the same time strengthen our locations in Spay and Wismar for our common future.” With these words, Managing Director Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Jensen summed up the decision of the shareholders and Supervisory Board, which had given the go-ahead for the company’s course of growth at their meeting in Wismar on 7 November 2007.
The combined package of measures for the two Schottel locations in Germany, drawn up by the Board of Directors and now approved, includes building projects, the expansion of the machine pool, the optimization of production processes, and the creation of up to 40 new jobs in Spay and around 30 in Wismar. “These measures give us the chance to sustain our position in the top league of global producers of marine propulsion systems,” asserted Prof. Jensen, and expressed his conviction that “the Schottel team, which is the envy of our competitors, will master the coming challenges with gusto!”
The chosen course is the result of extensive analyses conducted with the support of external specialists, which studied the trends on the currently booming world shipbuilding market and the associated opportunities and risks for Schottel. Three concepts for the necessary expansion of the production capabilities were under discussion. The package of measures now approved for Spay and Wismar, worth nearly €5 million, is not only the most cost-effective, but also the quickest to implement; customers will thus benefit from the changes as soon as possible.
The adopted programme, about which the workforces in Spay and Wismar were informed simultaneously on Thursday, 8 November 2007, provides for the development of the Spay location into the machining and gear unit production centre of Schottel GmbH. “From this strategically important step we anticipate the further improvement of our already high product quality,” explains Gerhard Jensen. In future, all Rudderpropeller systems up to a power rating of around 2,300 kW will be assembled in Spay.
The Wismar plant is to specialize on the assembly of higher-power propulsion systems. For this purpose, the assembly capacity for large Rudderpropeller systems will be expanded from its present level of about 80 units per year to approximately 180 in future. The company management is convinced that this division of work will make both locations more resistant to fluctuations in the market and in capacity utilization.
“The investment programme proposed by the management met with our approval in that it satisfies the current market requirements without overstretching the financial capabilities of the Schottel Group,” states Wolfgang Abreß, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. With this “clear commitment on the part of the shareholders and Supervisory Board, an important step has been taken towards consolidating our good position on the global market; we will meet the increasing demand for our large-scale propulsion systems and maintain their lead in terms of engineering and quality”; the Schottel management thus sees itself on the right course.