Interview with Rainer Mayer

Rainer Mayer
Rainer Mayer
Managing Director
Mayer & Cie.
Mayer & Cie.

India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam will increase their exports substantially.
Established in 1905, headquartered in Germany, Mayer & Cie. Group has transformed from mere a mechanical engineering workshop to the international company group in three generations. The conglomerate offers entire range of textile machinery, accessories and services in knitting arena. The Group turnover amounts to approximately EUR 60mio with circular knitting machines accounting for appr. 50%. Born 1947, Mr. Rainer Mayer, Managing Director, Mayer & Cie. is an MBA from Munich University. He has taken over the helm of the managerial affairs at the group since 1972. On personal front, Mr. Mayer is married. As recreation activities he enjoys sports viz skiing, tennis, and golf. Rainer Mayer, speaking with Madhu Soni, Sr. Editor & Correspondent- Face2Face, describes about present state of world textile and garment industry, and potential geographies in his sector.

Welcome to Face2Face, Mr. Mayer! Over a century in textiles has lent your group study the sector closely, isn’t it? Let us start the dialogue with your word on major turning points in the sector as well as in your Group.

Our factory was started by my grandfather, since we were in the center of the German knitting industry. We started to export in 1918. After the Second World War knitting machines were mainly used to produce cotton underwear and sleepwear. In the 60`s outerwear and sportswear started to use knitted fabrics and synthetic fibers, which lead to a boom of Jacquard machines with 3 years delivery time. This boom was over in early 70`s and half of the suppliers closed. We had to develop a full range of knitting machines; single jersey became more and more popular. Up to the late 90s the major suppliers of knitting machines were still in Europe, Japan and USA. The market for automotive, home and technical textiles developed. In the first decade of 21st century the production shifted to Asia and the majority of European and US suppliers closed. So we as well had to decrease our capacity to about 1000 machines a year and added a new machine line focused on the needs of today. But we are still embarking sales above EUR60 mio, and the largest circular knitting machine manufacturer.

So, Mr. Mayer, as a family posterity in textile tradition, what corporate values hold most dear to you?

The key for our success is customer satisfaction, continuity and extended R&D, we hold more than 70 patents. With over 35 people in R&D we develop high tech/high end machines for both: differentiation in niche and high end markets and high productive machines with a competitive price/production ratio. Our machines (over 40 different types) are well known for quality, productivity, durability and our marketing performance means reliability, starting in the acquisition process up to after sales service with over 100 technicians worldwide. Most of our employees start as trainees and work long-term in the company with their qualified experience. Our global marketing team consisting of our Sales and Service Centers in all major key countries and our agents we have a close relation worldwide to the market to serve best the needs of our customers.

How is Textile & Garment industry doing, these days?

The industry has stagnation or even slowdown due to the currency crisis in Europe and USA. But on ITMA we realized an increasing demand from other countries than China, which could partly compensate the lower demand in China. India, Turkey, Bangladesh and South America are here in the focus.

As many of the technocrats fear new calendar bringing recursion of economic threats in the market whence the machinery was the most affected segment (from 2008 to 2010), do you too share the same view about year 2012? What trends would this year set in the textile scene?

Our business is very volatile, last year we lost many orders due to delivery time of over 7 month, now our back log is compared with our competitors with 3 month still satisfactory. We don`t concentrate just on sales in China. We sell our machines worldwide with our global marketing team, to diversify the risk. We see 2012 slightly below 2011. We expect that in the future more and more demand would be for highly productive and specialized machines. For that reason Mayer has shown on the ITMA Barcelona the highest productive Single Jersey Machine, the highest productive Single Jersey Automated Striper machine, the finest Gauge in Single Jersey Full electronic Jacquard machines and we are about to launch the highest productive Interlock machine.

Which all shall remain dominant geographies in the client line for you? What all aspects will decide this fact?

China will remain the major textile machine market. The textile export growth, due to increase of their cost and higher valued Remimbi, will slow down, but should be compensated by the local demand. So we target a higher market share in China, where we plan to start with an assembly next year. We see 2012 slightly below 2011, 2013 is hard to predict. India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam will increase their exports substantially.

Your group equips all the manufacturers in lines viz. Outerwear, Underwear, Leisure wear, Household textile, Cartech, Techtech. Whom do you foresee making bigger slice of your business pie?

The main market will be leisurewear/sportswear, in our machine segment mainly with elastomeric plating. Here we are very competitive with quality/productivity. We see an increasing demand for electronic controlled machines. Mattress ticking is still growing and we are proud, that at least every second knit mattress is made on a Mayer & Cie machine.

Innovation is following Sustainability religiously. What say?

Mayer & Cie with its high level of R&D was always focusing sustainability. Our machines have per kg of produced fabric the lowest energy consumption, minimizing of knitting defects reduces the waste of fabrics. High production and little spare part consumption give our customers an attractive profitability. Our revolutionary “Spinit systems” shown on ITMA in Barcelona is combining the spinning/winding and knitting process on a knitting machine with tremendous savings in energy, space, labor and logistics.


Published on: 16/01/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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