Fast, precise, and powerful in all core competencies

Interview with Martin Höck, Managing Director of Windschiegl Maschinenbau GmbH

Martin Höck, Managing Director of Windschiegl Maschinenbau GmbH
Martin Höck, Managing Director of Windschiegl Maschinenbau GmbH

For more than 30 years, Windschiegl Maschinenbau GmbH has been offering its know-how in the areas of turning, milling, grinding, and gear cutting to its customers. As a reliable partner in the production of camshafts and gears, as well as a specialist in the field of mechanical engineering and motorsport, the company has made a name for itself. In an interview with Wirtschaftsforum, managing director Martin Höck explains how the company always remains 'One step ahead'.

Economic Forum: Mr. Höck, your company motto is "A head's length ahead". Is that even possible when faced with a continuous succession of crises in recent years?

Martin Höck: Yes, it is possible if one plans strategically for all eventualities. We are very proud to have succeeded in this. The pandemic reshuffled the cards in the market, and in the end, we stood with the same team and a 25% increase in sales. We were able to achieve this because we had already expanded our competencies and product portfolio before the pandemic and had bought new machines. This allowed us to gain new customers even during the pandemic. With our existing customers, we had already made agreements and built up appropriate inventory levels, so we had no particular problems with the supply chain bottlenecks.

Windschiegl Mechanical Engineering Portfolio
The expert and professional for four core areas: camshaft professional, mechanical engineering professional...

Economic Forum: What is the focus of your strategic planning today?

Martin Höck: Currently, we are mainly active in German-speaking areas. This is set to change in the coming years, making internationalization our next major step. We have recognized that the German market is declining in the long term and plan to compensate for these future losses by expanding internationally. At present, we generate about a quarter of our sales through exports. Over the next few years, we aim to increase the export quota to 50%. Primarily, we are targeting the rest of Europe, but we are also looking at markets in the Near and Far East, as well as the American market. We have increased our sales staff to address this internationalization in communication. We are in the process of revising our online presence and will soon go live with our new website in various national languages.

Economic Forum: What are your core competencies today?

Martin Höck: We see ourselves as experts and professionals in our four core areas: Gear Expert, Camshaft Expert, Large Component Expert, and Mechanical Engineering Expert. The components are manufactured with the highest precision and reliability on the latest machines. We can produce in both small series from batch size one and in larger series with consistently high quality. As a third mainstay, we also offer traditional mechanical engineering. Together with our customers, we develop and produce production machines and machines for construction and agriculture, vehicle technology, apparatus construction, and special machines. We are also a reliable partner for high-quality engine parts in motorsports. Here we manufacture high-performance engine, gearbox, and drivetrain components that give professional drivers a competitive edge. We are also a contact point for classic car fans and can offer a selection of racing parts, retro-classic parts, and retrofit parts for classic cars.

Windschiegl Mechanical Engineering Portfolio
...Large Part Expert and Gear Expert

Economic Forum: Which markets are important to you?

Martin Höck: In terms of our customer structure, we are very widely positioned. However, markets and needs change, and we constantly question whether our products and services meet these needs and whether our business model is still fit. That's the only way we can ensure that we will continue to grow sustainably in the future. We see good market opportunities especially in the future market of energy and resources, as well as in the healthcare sector and in the food industry. But also, traditional areas such as mobility and transport will continue to be important. Even as we navigate towards electrification, construction machinery and commercial vehicles with combustion engines will still be needed in disaster areas. Also, in the passenger car sector, diesel vehicles will not disappear overnight, at least not worldwide. Thus, I still see potential in the future.

Economic Forum: What are you doing in terms of sustainability?

Martin Höck: Next year, we will switch to producing our own electricity and will then be able to generate 60% of our energy needs through our own PV plant.

Economic Forum: What makes your company successful?

Martin Höck: We offer everything completely from a single source, including mechanical engineering and welding construction groups as well as finished systems. That is a big advantage. We see ourselves as full-service providers in all niches. This describes our future. This extreme breadth of services at a high level is what makes the company successful. This makes us unique and incomparable in the market.