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The Effects of Globalization on the Aluminum Extrusion Industry

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“The Effects of Globalization on the Aluminum Extrusion Industry

Bruno G. Rüttimann, Alcan Singen GmbH


ABSTRACT --- Globalization, and especially the opening of the Iron Curtain, is having
decisive and irreversible effects on the aluminum markets, specifically on the extrusion
industry. Indeed, the market rationale and transaction scheme are experiencing
substantial changes, and former successful business models may now be revised
under a broader spectrum. What influence will these structural changes have on the
local extrusion industry? What consequences will a world market price of semi-finished
products have for the competitive system of extrusions? Will the logic of the rather
fragmented extrusion market undergo a transformation under this new worldwide
competitive threat? Will even a new paradigm crystallize and become sustainable?
How will this paradigm look like? What restrictions and strategic options are likely to
emerge for the extrusion plants from this new competitive configuration? Starting from
the dynamics and the reasons behind the occurring changes, this paper analyzes the
different types of globalization and related product characteristics, as well as market
structures. It examines the consequences arising from the new possibilities to manage
an extrusion business on a worldwide scale with regard to the new paradigm.
Furthermore, it gives a spectrum of possible strategies for the Western extrusion
industry to face in this changing environment. The synthesis is summarized in ten
globalization postulates for the extrusion business.

© Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation). All rights reserved. No part of The Proceedings may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the ET Foundation.