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GF Casting Solutions at a glance

GF Casting Solutions is one of the leading solution providers of lightweight components in the mobility and energy industries. As a future-oriented company, GF Casting Solutions acts as a driving force for innovation in the foundry and additive manufacturing world and aims to take the lead in developing and manufacturing innovative and energy-efficient lightweight solutions.

Key figures

CHF million

2020

2019

 

 

 

Order intake

740

953

Orders on hand at year-end

251

267

Sales

752

949

Sales growth %

–20.8

–43.7

Organic growth %

–11.9

–9.7

EBITDA

26

48

EBIT before one-offs

–15

22

One-offs

19

46

EBIT

–34

–24

Return on sales before one-offs (EBIT margin before one-offs) %

–2.0

2.3

Return on sales (EBIT margin) %

–4.5

–2.5

Invested capital (IC)

448

477

Return on invested capital (ROIC) %

–5.7

–4.4

Number of employees

3’919

4’336

Number of employees

3’919

Sales per region

in CHF

Sales per segment

in CHF

Strategy review  
2016–2020

GF Casting Solutions transformed into a solution provider with a focus on light metal components for the automotive industry and in new market segments such as aerospace and energy. Having adapted its global footprint, the division is well-positioned to support the future of sustainable mobility.

Fundamental footprint adapted

GF Casting Solutions embarked on a fundamental transformation. With the divestment of automotive iron casting in Europe, the acquisition of Eucasting in Romania, and the closure of the high-pressure die casting plant in Werdohl (Germany), GF Casting Solutions has fundamentally restructured its footprint in Europe. The entrance into the North American market and the planned expansion in northern China give GF Casting Solutions a truly global presence and a leading position in the high-pressure die casting market. Further to this, the company has balanced its technology portfolio with the addition of precision casting and additive manufacturing in the aerospace and industrial gas turbine markets.

Reducing costs and environmental impact through artificial intelligence

GF Casting Solutions has been pushing ahead with its digital transformation for a number of years. The Research & Development department in Schaffhausen (Switzerland) has set up a project with GF’s die casting plant in Altenmarkt (Austria) and artificial intelligence pioneer Microsoft, in Switzerland. The aim of the project is to speed up the production process during a component’s ramp-up phase to improve quality, enhance customer satisfaction, and reduce the impact on the environment.

Innovative design concepts support new powertrain technologies

Reducing CO2 emissions is the key challenge faced by the global automotive industry, which is experiencing a large-scale transformation. Lightweight solutions help car manufacturers to compensate or reduce vehicle weight, especially for fully electric concepts among the alternative powertrains. Completely new products are also in demand and additional functions need to be integrated into lightweight solutions: For several projects, GF Casting Solutions succeeded in integrating complex cooling systems into the walls of cast battery housings. New approaches in die casting technology as well as comprehensive research and development support in the area of product design are key elements of the support GF Casting Solutions provides for the further development of e-mobility.

“We are ready for the future of sustainable mobility.”

graphic
Carlos Vasto, President of GF Casting Solutions

What was your key learning from the last strategy period?

The transformation has left its mark on the organization and the financial performance of GF Casting Solutions did not meet expectations. Adjustments to the organization and disciplined attention to operational excellence are necessary to tap the full potential of the business.

How did COVID-19 influence the five-year strategy of the GF Casting Solutions division in 2020?

In 2020, markets were subdued and the outlook was uncertain. The automotive industry is going through a fundamental transformation as it is facing pressure to re-invent mobility in sustainable ways. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated the situation, and sent the aerospace industry into an unprecedented decline. The general call for energy efficiency in all components increased, which benefited GF Casting Solutions in its capacity as a specialist for lightweight structural components in the automotive, aerospace, and industrial markets.

Where does GF Casting Solutions stand today, after this major transformation?

GF Casting Solutions is now a lightweight specialist, well-positioned to face the challenges of the future. Its technology and product portfolio, as well as its geographic presence are better balanced than ever before. The most important product segments are now body & structure as well as large complex drivetrain components. High-pressure die casting has become the dominant technology, complemented by precision casting and iron casting in selected market segments in Europe and China.

What do you want to focus on in the next strategy cycle?

With the expertise and the global footprint in place, we will focus our attention on building up leading production facilities with a dedicated global team. We want to grow globally through innovative solutions and help our customers empower sustainable mobility.

GF Casting Solutions Success Story

In recent years, the global rise of electric cars has led to an increasing demand for lightweight solutions. As a pioneer in the field, GF Casting Solutions is supporting Volvo Cars with its broad development know-how to combine multiple parts into one, decreasing the carmaker’s costs as well as reducing its carbon footprint.

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