Knitting & Hosiery


Mayer & Cie. nears the end of a successful financial year

A young management team at the helm of a long-established company: managing directors Benjamin Mayer (right) and Marcus Mayer (left) are the fourth generation of the owner family to run the company. They are assisted by Sebastian Mayer (centre). Photo:
This year will have been one of the most successful financial years in the recent history of German circular knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie. In its 110th year in business, the company will have manufactured and sold more machines than in any of the past ten years or so. ITMA, the international textile machinery show and leading industry trade fair, ending in mid-November in Milan, gave the company’s sales curve, which has been rising for years, a further upward boost.
Innovation, continuity and entrepreneurial family spirit are the mainstays of success

Mayer & Cie., a family firm managed by the owner family’s fourth generation, anticipates total sales of around EUR 93 million in 2015 – an increase of more than ten per cent on the previous year.

Historic records broken

“2015 was a very eventful year,” says Benjamin Mayer, Managing Director of Mayer & Cie. The 33-year-old entrepreneur is referring for one to the impressive business figures. “Over the past year we have manufactured and sold over 1,300 machines, steadily increasing our sales in recent years. In early summer we also shipped the 70,000th knitting machine from our production facility in Albstadt – an impressive testimony to our successful corporate history.”

In terms of sales revenue, which this year will total around EUR 93 million for the entire Mayer Group, the circular knitting machine manufacturer from Germany’s Swabian Alb region is by far the largest provider in the market. The long-established company is a technology leader too. That was evident once more at this year’s ITMA, where Mayer & Cie. presented inter alia its new and extraordinarily highly regarded market-ready spinitsystems® spin and knit technology.

For another the past year has marked the company’s transition to the owner family’s fourth generation. Since the death of longstanding managing and senior director Rainer Mayer, his son and his nephew, Benjamin Mayer and Marcus Mayer, have taken over as joint managing directors of the company assisted by Benjamin Mayer’s brother Sebastian Mayer. This well-planned change of generation has left the over a century old knitting machine manufacturer with an unusually young management team that has set itself the target of combining a modern corporate structure and culture with the Swabian SMB’s tried and tested strengths. Working for 40 years at Mayer & Cie. is anything but unusual, for example, and the same goes for investment in more sustainable production or in innovative start-ups.

ITMA in Milan sounds a positive note for 2016

“We are extremely satisfied with this year’s ITMA,” Benjamin Mayer says. “Above all, our new spin and knit technology spinitsystems® and the first machine to use it, the Spinit 3.0 E, met with an overwhelming response. The other four machines we exhibited at ITMA evidently also caught the spirit of the age exactly.”

The key data of Mayer & Cie.’s ITMA presentation underscores the Managing Director’s impression. Overall sales targets were well fulfilled even though the order books were amply filled prior to the trade fair and well-known phenomenon of a lull in orders ahead of the fair did not fully materialise. For the Spinit 3.0 E, which had its sales launch at ITMA, Mayer & Cie. booked three pilot series orders in Milan. Series production is scheduled to start in 2017.

Pic: An aerial photo of the company’s headquarters – the home of Mayer & Cie. for over a century. At present, around 330 people are employed here in production, development and administration.
Benjamin Mayer sees the positive mood at ITMA as a good sign for the year ahead. “We are going for sales growth in 2016 too and aim to continue to grow. That is why we are planning heavy investment in infrastructure, buildings, machinery and new products. Our aim is to set ourselves even further apart from the competition with our products and services.”

Location loyalty and deliberate globalisation

Much of this investment will be in the Swabian Alb region where the knitting machine manufacturer has been located since the company was founded. At present, around 330 employees work there in production, administration and development. Capacities are to be further increased, just as they have been and continue to be, at the company’s other production sites in China and the Czech Republic. In spring 2015 Mayer & Cie. moved with around 30 employees to larger premises in China’s Shanghai province. Relocation lies ahead next year for the Czech production facility and its payroll of around 60 employees. The foundation stone for the new factory in Vsetín was laid in October 2015.

Machines are manufactured or assembled at all three locations. At the parent plant in Albstadt most types of machine are manufactured, as are the central components of a circular knitting machine.

The aim of the expansion of the Czech production facility is to increase capacities there by about 30 per cent. Machines, knitting heads and many other assembly-intensive component groups are to be assembled there in the near future, including the company’s current bestseller, the S4 3.2 II.

Final assembly is all that is done on the production site in China. Two types of machine, specially developed for the Chinese market and, in future, for further selected markets, are assembled and shipped from Shanghai.

Pic: On the way to a larger production facility in the Czech Republic: Marcus Mayer, Jiří Čunek, Mayor of Vsetín, Stanislav Stastny, Managing Director, Mayer & Cie. CZ, and Benjamin Mayer (from the left) at the laying of the foundation stone in Vsetín, Czech Republic.
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