Swiss car sector set to step up a gear

Swiss companies provide components for the car industry Keystone

Most Swiss companies active in the car sector - mainly as providers of parts and electronics - are set to boom over the next few years.

This content was published on December 14, 2004 - 21:25

A study by Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) singled out Saia Burgess, Komax and Georg Fischer as those most likely to enjoy success.

Although Switzerland does not have its own automobile industry, many foreign manufacturers use Swiss-made components in their cars.

The CSFB study, published on Tuesday, found that the main advantage for Swiss firms was that they were not directly affected by the number of new cars being manufactured.

The industry is currently undergoing a difficult period, with many of the biggest manufacturers having to contend with falling sales and prices.

But the report's authors noted that Swiss companies were likely to benefit from an increase in demand for technological and environmental components.

CSFB added that electrical parts firm Saia Burgess, machine manufacturer Komax and engineering company Georg Fischer could expect to be among the first to profit from this demand.


But CSFB said two Swiss companies with links to the car industry could suffer from stagnation in the future.

It said both Rieter, which supplies services and systems for the car, plastics and textiles industries, and machine and components manufacturer Saurer were being held back by their activities in the textile industry, which is in decline.

At the bottom of the pile was plastics supplier Sarna, which CSFB said lacked a clear strategy in its car sector.

However, Sarna announced on Tuesday that it had decided to divest itself of its automobile business and focus instead on its Sarnafil unit, a supplier to the construction and civil-engineering industries.

Figures show that 120 Swiss companies are active in the car sector, providing manufacturers with everything from microchips to sheet metal.

In 2001, the revenue from this sector was estimated at SFr5 billion ($3.3 billion).

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Percentage of sales linked to car industry:
Rieter: 60%.
Sarna: 57%.
Komax: 55%.
Saia Burgess: 52%.
Georg Fischer: 49%.
Saurer: 20%.

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In brief

In Switzerland, about 250,000 people are employed directly or indirectly by the car industry.

The profit generated by the Swiss car and vehicle industry as a whole is around SFr70 billion.

The country has no car manufacturers of its own. The last Opel was produced in Biel in 1975.

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In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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