Press equipment is one of the most widely utilized types of machinery in manufacturing facilities. Automotive manufacturing accounts for some of the highest concentrations of stamping, forming and punching equipment in use today. The “perfect storm” of faltering overall economic conditions and the failing domestic automotive industry have adversely impacted the marketability of this machinery.
In recent months, and reaching as far back as last year, the secondary market for press equipment has become increasingly saturated. As manufacturing in the U.S. continues to contract, users of press machinery, namely automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, have been slowly forced to discontinue operations. In the past six months alone, manufactures such as Certified Tool & Manufacturing, Courtesy Manufacturing, Delphi Automotive, General Electric and Tower Automotive have been forced to close and liquidate plants. The resulting auctions have proven to have the greatest effect on the larger tonnage stamping presses of 600 ton capacity or greater. The Delphi Automotive auction alone offered several 800 to 1,500 ton capacity presses. Similarly, the Certified Tool & Manufacturing auction offered more than 25 various capacity and style presses at liquidation.
While a portion of the presses offered at auctions such as those listed above are ultimately bid on and purchased, some presses will go unsold. Both manufacturers and dealers have reported that the increasing supply of machinery is currently outpacing demand. In rare circumstances when offering presses of the “right” age, tonnage, bolster size, speed and controls, dealers of used equipment have been able to achieve 30% to 40% premiums by extending the marketing period necessary to find the “right” buyer. However, there are few dealers speculating on large presses due to the inherent risks of finding buyers in today’s market coupled with the high cost of removing the press if a buyer cannot be found before it is necessary to vacate the building in which the equipment is installed.
Another factor contributing to the loss in the value of large stamping equipment is reduced demand in the primary industries that consume large quantities of fabricated metal parts like the construction and automotive industries, as well as a wide variety of general industrial applications. Reduced production levels have directly affected pricing of a wide variety of metals including carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and scrap materials.
The market for press machinery is currently in a downward trend. Preliminary indications are that the values for this machinery, particularly in duress sale scenarios, will continue to remain depressed through the first part of 2009 and potentially into 2010. Factors such as governmental assistance to the automotive industry and overall trade policies under the Obama administration will impact the future of press machinery values, but to what extent is unknown. High labor costs, unfair trade practices and decreased exports demand exasperate already enormously difficult circumstances for U.S. manufacturers.
During times of great volatility, up-to-date market information is the key to accurately forecasting trends in used equipment values. AccuVal tracks over 100 industry segments worldwide, analyzing tens of thousands of transactions every month (see our Liquidation Monitor). As a result, AccuVal is tuned in to real-time values and trends…and thus, so are you.