MarketLine Blog

Posts about Manufacturing

Kindred AI – Putting robots in human shoes

MarketLine

Teaching computers to learn on their own has been the core aim of AI research, with the world’s largest tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Baidu, all racing to develop the best techniques. Although there have been breakthroughs in speech and image recognition, the machines still struggle to handle basic physical tasks. Kindred AI, a Canadian start up, decided to tackle these issues applying a new, innovative approach based on the technique of immersive teleoperation. According to its founders, the best way to make robots as smart as humans, is… Read more

Tata-ThyssenKrupp merger: Deal will have short-term impact but doubts remain over long term

MarketLine

The merger of the European steel making section of Tata and German based ThyssenKrupp will likely have useful short-term impacts upon European production, but the benefits heading into the long-term future are less clear. Soon to be the second largest steel maker in Europe, the combined company will have sufficient bulk to compete much better with Chinese producers who are under pressure from the central government to consolidate. Chances are the new company will gain substantial efficiencies and improve product quality beyond other major rivals, but this only solves some… Read more

Sunseeker Yachts: Good year for British yacht companies on the back of Brexit

MarketLine

Sunseeker has found a way to return to winning ways. With a good order book increase and healthy return to profit, the company appears to have recovered from a particularly bleak period for the luxury yacht building industry. In recent years the market has been extremely bad for Sunseeker and other British boat builders such as Princess and Fairline which had been restructuring and applying redundancies. The main reason that these businesses seem to have recovered, is due to the pound plummeting after Brexit making prices much more competitive when… Read more

US and China trade talks: Emphasis on steel and tariffs is misguided

MarketLine

The danger of current US policy towards Chinese steel is that damaging tariffs will be imposed. Many observers describe such a policy as the nuclear option because the ability of other countries to impose harmful tariffs on US goods will be just as strong. Troublingly, tariffs would do little to solve the actual problem of dumping on the international market. A policy with many similarities was attempted in 2002 but resulted in a public climb down by the then President Bush after severe job losses were incurred. Tariffs are not… Read more

Donald Trump: The Anti-Globalism Billionaire

MarketLine

Since revealing plans to run for President, billionaire businessman Donald Trump has expressed surprising anti-globalist sentiments. For a man who’s made his fortune running luxury resorts across the globe, it is initially surprising that he would claim to oppose trade blocs, a major driver of globalization and free trade. But perhaps Donald Trump is taking his new job seriously. The ex-businessman is now the most powerful person on the planet and that comes with certain responsibilities. The US people voted for a populist, radical alternative to the established political system… Read more

Toshiba NAND business sale: Suitable sale is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve

MarketLine

A major problem Toshiba has with the sale of the NAND business is the company as a whole is in such a bad financial condition, potential buyers are in a very strong negotiating position. Toshiba has already sold off other profitable parts of the business in order to cover costs resulting from an accounting scandal in which profits were overstated. Now the second largest NAND business in the world is up for sale, prospective buyers are aware that the Japanese technology giant desperately needs a deal, and soon. Downward pressure… Read more

Iran Transport: Accelerating forward to the future

MarketLine

Iran is a growing hub for transportation, acting as a critical connection point between India and Russia/ Europe. Until recently, the Suez Canal served as the quickest transport route between India and Russia however with Iran undergoing rail infrastructure upgrades and also building part of the North-South corridor, Iran is set to become a key part of the ongoing development of transport links using the rail network. The North-South corridor has the potential to cut the transport time by around 50% and is sure to disrupt the naval transportation market…. Read more

AMD is Ryzen: Chip manufacturer makes a huge play to shake up the processor market

MarketLine

AMD has for a number of years been kicked into the long grass by Intel in producing processors. Whichever way it’s measured, sheer performance, market share, sales figures or reputation, Intel has controlled the desktop and laptop chip processor market. However AMD has been preparing a very significant challenge to fight back. In early 2017 AMD announced the details of its next series of chips and took the market by storm. AMD had found a way to make its chips competitive with the very best Intel chips and even better… Read more

Samsung S8 follows the Note 7: A smarter choice

MarketLine

The mobile phone market is extremely competitive and in order to retain customers, companies need to provide them with the best products and also a good level of security and customer service. Samsung is attempting to recoup its losses from the Note 7 from 2016 after it was recalled and ceased manufacturing with its latest release the Samsung Galaxy S8. The fear for Samsung is that it will not only be facing competition from the market but also from its customers whose trust has been put to the test in… Read more

From GM to PSA: Why the sale of Vauxhall Opel is good for shareholders but bad for workers

MarketLine

US-based General Motors is the world’s third largest automobile manufacturer by sales, and second largest by revenues. French-owned Groupe PSA, which sold nearly 3.2 million vehicles and had revenues of €54bn ($57bn), is a fairly small player in comparison. GM’s ownership and continued management of Vauxhall Opel is at odds with the rest of its portfolio – the company primarily operates in the US and Asia, selling brands including Chevrolet, Buick, Holden and Wuling – while PSA operate Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles primarily out of Europe. The sale of… Read more

Brexit – the meaning of a messy divorce for the Euro area.

MarketLine

The lending channel between many industries and banks in the Euro area has been far from normal since 2008. This factor puts Britain in a better position to negotiate Brexit next year. The Euro area will embark on a period of further unprecedented slowdown by detaching itself from the world’s fourth largest economy. Credit to industries coming from the banking sector is key for the region to grow as the single currency area has a bank-based model as opposed to a capital market model. Debt financing to companies is largely… Read more

Donald Trump: Incoming president likely to create bigger mess than his hair

MarketLine

Donald Trump’s policy detail is rather thin, but based on multiple and contradictory things he has said on the campaign trail, shrinking of the state via both reduced tax income and federal spending while promising to build a border wall and renovate infrastructure, protectionist stances on international trade agreements while promising a Brexit Britain a comprehensive deal, an expansion of dirty industries at the expense of environmental regulation, and undermined central bank independence. Donald Trump’s election to the Oval Office was considered one of the most divisive and bitter elections… Read more

COMAC C919 Airliner lands

MarketLine

When the COMAC C919 launched, comparisons were immediately made with the failed Bombardier effort to break the Boeing/Airbus duopoly. Bombardier failed for several reasons, chiefly because it was unable to gain the required customer base needed to gain traction in the airline industry. This does not apply to COMAC: the company has a ready-made market of state controlled airlines, colossal state backing and provides fantastic opportunities for foreign companies. These factors will aid the company to make serious inroads into the Chinese domestic airline market, providing the impetus for future… Read more

Volkswagen scandal refuses to go away

MarketLine

The VW emissions scandal shows little sign of slowing – affected consumers must be compensated whatever the cost if the scandal is to be finally concluded. Volkswagen owners in the US received $20,000 per case in compensation; European owners received a mere software update. However, this could be about to change after courts in Germany ruled a pilot case filed against the company by investors could go ahead. Efforts are underway to circumvent European Union laws and bring about similar cases in other European countries too. It follows a raft… Read more

UK Economy – held back by euro area Treaty

MarketLine

The Maastricht Treaty has been slowly asphyxiating any possibility of sustained economic recovery in Britain. It has been partially responsible for the erratic recovery of manufacturing, production and construction industries. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Britain peaked back at pre-crisis level in the second quarter of 2013 driven mainly by the growth of the services industry. This industry is 13 per cent larger in value compared to 2009 (figure below). Production, construction and manufacturing industries are on average 7% smaller than their pre-crisis levels. The majority of UK industries… Read more

Greece’s policy mix: austerity failure and unfairness

MarketLine

In the 1980s, Europeans and Americans started to get hooked on debt to afford their lifestyle. Newly available bank loans, a wide range of mortgages and credit cards suddenly became a necessity. At that time Robert Dall, a mortgage trader at Salomon Brothers, started to mix two or more types of mortgages together and re-sell them in the global financial markets. In an interview with BBC Panorama in 2015, Dall pointed out that “some mortgages were real and others were phoney” and “the market did not understand the difference between… Read more

Will the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) erode Embraer’s market share?

MarketLine

In the 1990s, Embraer and Bombardier identified a gap in the production of an aircraft sized for efficient operation in the regional jet market in Europe, Asia, Africa and, particularly, in the United States. Regional American airlines were increasingly demanding an aircraft designed specifically to serve markets that can be optimized with 37 to 110 seat capacity equipment. The production of Embraer Regional Jet-145 (ERJ-145) launched the company into the lucrative regional jets market in 1996, only two years after privatization. Prior to 1996, Bombardier was the sole player in… Read more

A new dynamism for major European economies

MarketLine

The expansion of household debt in Europe in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s was unprecedented by historical standards and the economic growth of European countries has become partially dependent on it. The numbers from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and Marketline analysis reveal that the outstanding credit from the banking system to European households increased more than 170%, in nominal values, from US$4tn in 1995 to more than US$ 11tn by the end of the 2000s. In the UK alone, household debt is running at US$2.4tn which represents an… Read more

Toyota follows Tesla down the royalty-free rabbit hole

MarketLine

Toyota has revealed that it intends to allow royalty free access to 5,680 of its hydrogen fuel cell technology patents. This is the same technique that Tesla employed last year to release its battery patents to its competitors. The point of such a move is that in order to kick start new technology on such a massive scale as would be required to replace traditional automobiles; a number of the biggest automotive manufacturers need to heavily invest. This is for a number of reasons but principally consumers need confidence to… Read more

Good business: can clothing supply chains be managed ethically?

MarketLine

In April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed with the loss of 1,129 lives, mainly of apparel manufacturing workers. The proximate cause was that four extra floors had been built without a permit, and that a building designed for shops and offices was being used as a factory. But the collapse was an extreme example of the poor conditions suffered by all too many garment workers in low-wage countries. The cutting and sewing of clothes is labor intensive and difficult to automate, so wages loom large in the… Read more

Semiconductor industry back on track

MarketLine

The global semiconductor industry recovered in 2013, growing by 5.4%, after a contraction recorded the year before. Regionally, the Americas showed the largest increase (11.4%), while Asia Pacific grew by 4.3% and Europe recorded a 3 % growth. At the same time sales fell sharply in Japan, contracting by -15%, mostly due to the devaluation of the Japanese Yen. The United States has rebounded to once again become one of the largest and fastest growing regions for semiconductor manufacturing globally. The US semiconductor industry grew nearly three times faster than… Read more

Keep on trucking; global truck market demonstrates resilience

MarketLine

The global truck market experienced strong growth during 2009-2013, fuelled by the Americas as the US’ economic recovery and South America’s dynamic economies continue to gather strength, and the Asia-Pacific region as China and India continue to show strong growth. With Western Europe also finally showing signs of sustainable recovery, the short term future for the truck market looks promising. The global truck industry (which includes light commercial vehicles, light buses and coaches, commercial vehicles, buses and coaches, heavy commercial vehicles, and heavy buses and coaches in this research) grew… Read more

The global medium & heavy trucks industry posts strong growth in 2013

MarketLine

Despite the on-going financial difficulties being experienced in many nations around the world, demand for medium & heavy trucks has continued to grow, with strong growth experienced in 2013. The global medium & heavy trucks industry grew by 7.5% in 2011, to reach a value of $209.8 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.9% for the period spanning 2009-2013. Stronger growth was experienced in the smaller markets – the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, although growth was strong in the largest market, the Asia-Pacific. Growth was… Read more

Review of the 3D printing industry

MarketLine

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a relatively new and developing technology, with many boasts and ambitious long term goals, which threatens to completely change the way that products are manufactured. The 3D printer comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes designed to fulfil various different goals. Some are designed for in home manufacturing of fashion accessories and art designs, others with the rather loftier aims of building houses and printing human organs. Still in its infancy however, the industry faces many challenges before it can claim to… Read more