Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia invest in machine tools more than other countries in the region

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 5/2008

Dear Mr. Saito, please define the most specific features of markets in South-Eastern Europe compared to Western or global.
Many machine tools working in factories are often older, which requires several different machines and operators to manufacture products, which reduce competitiveness in quality, time and cost. There is great chance to grow further by investing in advanced machinery.

What comprises your near future market plans for SEE, including Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece?
Our target is ‘Be closer to customers’. Mazak local agents and representatives are presented in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Greece for many years, but it is not the case in other countries. Our plan to realize our target is to explore frontiers by finding more partners. There are perhaps ambitious potential ‘agents -to-be’ amongst readers of this magazine.

Which are the Mazak’s CNC lathes and machining centers with the biggest market potential in Southeastern Europe?
The SEE market is diverse, but we believe that Mazak machine range is wide enough to cover it. Therefore, it is a very difficult question to answer by choosing a few models. If some models are needed to be specified, then, in case of CNC lathes, they are ‘Quick Turn Nexus II’ series, and in case of machining centres, ‘Vertical Machining Centre Nexus II’ series and ‘Horizontal Machining Centre Nexus II’ series. ‘Mazatrol Matrix Nexus’, the CNC system on those machines, is already the 6th generation.

In which country from Southeastern Europe the growth rate of your business is higher? Which one of your products is in great demand on these markets?
The answer is Bulgaria in case of our organization. ‘Multi tasking’ machines and machines with Mazak concept of ‘Done in One’ are more demanded in Bulgaria, while small to medium sized CNC lathes and machining centres are popular in other countries in the region such as Romania, Slovenia etc.

Could you point out some distinctive features of markets in South-East European countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, F.Y.R of Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.
Our experience tells that Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia invest in machine tools more than others listed above. Bulgaria amongst others invest very actively, and often in more high-tech machinery, such as multi-task machine tools or 5 axes machining centres, compared to others in the region. Those companies continue investment will strengthen their international competitiveness, which encourage them to invest further. A good chain. We believe that companies in other countries will follow this course.

How is Mazak’s after-sales service organized in this countries? Do you offer some long-term technical support for your customers?
After service is very important for machine tools. Our local agents and representatives have service teams in their countries to support customers. Currently they are located in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Greece as far as the above region is concerned. Mazak organizations in Central European countries such as Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and UK are behind to back them up.