Mayer & Cie. China’s company building in Shanghai: three models are currently assembled here.
Mayer & Cie. China’s company building in Shanghai: three models are currently assembled here.

Mayer & Cie. China (MCN), a subsidiary of the German circular knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie. (MCT), headquartered in Albstadt, assembled its 1,000th circular knitting machine in Shanghai at the end of April this year.

According to Benjamin Mayer, Managing Director of Mayer & Cie, the assembly of the 1,000th machine at the Chinese works is impressive testimony to the positive progress Mayer & Cie. China has made in recent years. The Chinese subsidiary is an important building block for achieving the Group objectives in the years ahead.

The Mayer & Cie. China success story

As introduced, Mayer & Cie decided to assemble machines in Shanghai in 2011. It was an experiment for the company to see whether machines developed specially for China would be accepted.

The adventure got off to a good start. The first model, the MSC 3.2 or “Mayer Single China”, was well received. In late 2014 it was replaced by its successor, the MSC 3.2 II. The MDC 2.2, a double jersey machine, has also been assembled and marketed by Mayer & Cie. China since 2014. In autumn 2017, the company launched the Relanit 3.2 SC at the Shanghaitex trade fair. A member of the well-known Relanit family, it is characterized by high productivity and process reliability.

The knitting heads for all models are imported, but MCN’s 40 or so employees manufacture many of the components required themselves. The machines are all assembled on-site. “In that way we can offer selected models in the price-sensitive Chinese market at a competitive price,” says Mario Kaden, Managing Director of Mayer & Cie. China, explaining a key benefit of the company’s Chinese presence. It also boosts the flexibility and the speed at which MCN can respond to domestic demand.

The MSC 3.2 II is the most popular model in the Chinese portfolio. The 1,000th machine is also an MSC 3.2 II. It is used especially to manufacture fabrics for leisure and sportswear. As stated by Kaden, there is a customer here who has built up a machine park in which 130 machines of this type operate. It showed how popular the MSC 3.2 II is in China.

Growth strategy for China

“To gain a foothold in the world’s largest textile market you must have a presence here,” says Kaden, “Our customers are not going to buy imported machines if we in China can deliver the same quality. We have succeeded in doing that in spite of tough competition and are very proud of our achievement.”

Based on this experience, Mayer & Cie. has identified significant growth potential in China – and beyond. From 2019, an electronic model will join the portfolio of machines assembled in Shanghai. As with the Relanit 3.2 SC, Mayer & Cie. hopes that it will increasingly attract the higher end market segment.

In the future, the models assembled in Shanghai will also be available in neighbouring countries. The MSC 3.2 II has already been sold in Bangladesh for several years, and since the beginning of this year, it has also been possible to order Mayer & Cie. machines from India, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam. The overall export potential is significant. In 2017 alone, China exported over 10,000 large circular knitting machines.