Mayer & Cie: 1,000th machine assembled at Shanghai works
Mayer & Cie. China (MCN), a
subsidiary of the German circular knitting machine manufacturer
Mayer & Cie. (MCT), headquartered in Albstadt, assembled its
1,000th circular knitting machine at the end of this month.
Since autumn 2012, the Mayer & Cie. works in Shanghai have
handled the final assembly of selected machines and machines
specially developed for the Chinese market. The 1,000th machine
is an MSC 3.2 II, the best-selling model in the Chinese product
line-up. Along with this single jersey machine, two other models
are currently assembled in China. An electronic model is due to
join them in 2019 as part of Mayer & Cie.’s plan to further
develop its position in the Chinese market.
“The assembly of the 1,000th machine at our Chinese works is
impressive testimony to the positive progress Mayer & Cie. China
has made in recent years,” says Benjamin Mayer, Managing
Director of Mayer & Cie. “Our Shanghai site and our business in
China will continue to grow. Our Chinese subsidiary is an
important building block for achieving our Group objectives in
the years ahead.”
The Mayer & Cie. China Success Story
Mayer & Cie. began assembling machines in Shanghai in 2012.
It was a “real ‘garage solution,’” Benjamin Mayer recalls. “The
circular knitting machine manufacturer had maintained a Sales &
Service unit there since 2003, but we decided to assemble
machines there in 2011. It was an experiment for us. We wanted
to see whether machines developed specially for China would be
The adventure got off to a good start. The first model, the
MSC 3.2 or “Mayer Single China”, was well received. In late 2014
it was replaced by its successor, the MSC 3.2 II. The MDC 2.2, a
double jersey machine, has also been assembled and marketed by
Mayer & Cie. China since 2014. In autumn 2017, the company
launched the Relanit 3.2 SC at the Shanghaitex trade fair. A
member of the well-known Relanit family, it is characterized by
high productivity and process reliability.
The knitting heads for all models are imported, but MCN’s 40
or so employees manufacture many of the components required
themselves. The machines are all assembled on-site. “In that way
we can offer selected models in the price-sensitive Chinese
market at a competitive price,” says Mario Kaden, Managing
Director of Mayer & Cie. China, explaining a key benefit of the
company’s Chinese presence. It also boosts the flexibility and
the speed at which MCN can respond to domestic demand.
The MSC 3.2 II is the most popular model in the Chinese
portfolio. The 1,000th machine is also an MSC 3.2 II. It is used
especially to manufacture fabrics for leisure- and sportswear.
“We have a customer here who has built up a machine park in
which 130 machines of this type operate,” Kaden says, citing an
example of how popular the MSC 3.2 II is.
Growth strategy for China
As machine production reaches four figures Kaden looks back
proudly on what has been achieved. He has worked for Mayer & Cie.
in Shanghai since 2003 and he is well aware of the opportunities
and challenges in the Chinese market. “To gain a foothold in the
world’s largest textile market you must have a presence here,”
he says. “Our customers are not going to buy imported machines
if we in China can deliver the same quality. We have succeeded
in doing that in spite of tough competition and are very proud
of our achievement. We have progressed from a ‘garage solution’
to becoming an important building block of the Mayer Group.”
Based on this experience, Mayer & Cie. has identified
significant growth potential in China – and beyond. From 2019,
an electronic model will join the portfolio of machines
assembled in Shanghai. As with the Relanit 3.2 SC, Mayer & Cie.
hopes that it will increasingly attract the higher end market
segment. In the future, the models assembled in Shanghai will
also be available in neighbouring countries. The MSC 3.2 II has
already been sold in Bangladesh for several years, and since the
beginning of this year, it has also been possible to order Mayer
& Cie. machines from India, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam. The
overall export potential is significant. In 2017 alone, China
exported over 10,000 large circular knitting machines. “We must
grasp this opportunity and export our quality to other Asian
markets,” Mario Kaden says.