ThyssenKrupp Kerkhoff's Chairman of the Board of Directors for only a few weeks has been the first to present the balance sheet of the group. The company based in Essen is in crisis. Carsten Schabosky explains how he wants to overcome this.
Carsten Schabosky, WDR
When Heinrich Hiesinger announced in the summer of 2018 that he would want to depart from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Thyssenkrupp AG, it was already clear that the industrial group faced new times. "I deliberately take this step to allow a thorough discussion in the Supervisory Board on the ThyssenKrupp future," he said at the time.
His successor Guido Kerkhoff became basically very fast. It wants to divide the group into two independent companies. On the one hand, Thyssenkrupp Materials AG should include, inter alia, 50 percent stake in alloy steel with Indian partner Tato. Along with this are the trade of materials and naval shipbuilding. The company is expected to have about 40,000 employees.
In the second company Thyssenkrupp Industrials AG, the deal with the elevator or the car industry has to be packed. 90,000 people should be employed here.
Cleaning seems to be rejected
Even if this interview with the last group of nephews, Friedrich von Bohlen, in an interview with "Handelsblatt" has been critically reviewed. It generally accepts trade unions and politics. One of the reasons is that there are far-reaching job guarantees. The goal is to create "two much more focused and more efficient companies". It would also prevent the destruction of Thyssenkrupp. "It will not sell stores," IG-Metall said.
Above all, financial investors direct their returnees. Perhaps Thyssenkrupp's may be divided into even more areas. Steel, elevators, large-scale systems, submarines and car parts contribute to business success in varying degrees. Although steel is the core of everything, but now only the participation of many. Growing business is the Group's earning power.
Thyssenkrupp in the wind
The planned joint venture with its competitor Tata is not yet dry. But there are problems. On the one hand, there are consequences of the bad investment of billionaires. But car parts and elevators are not as good as they once were. The division of the elevator had to double this year's rating twice.
Another challenge is the upcoming punishment for an alleged cartel for heavy duty and flat steel. Prices may have been agreed. Thyssenkrupp has many financial constraints to overcome.
Politics is also mixed
For months, federal and state politicians invite all interested parties to work on strengthening Thyssenkrupp as an important group in Germany as a business location, thus securing jobs. The Federal Ministry of Economics, led by the CDU, warned of a breakup.
It's no miracle: almost 160,000 employees work for the Group in 79 countries – almost half of them in Germany. The long-standing company has a history of more than 200 years and is one of the symbols of Germany as an industrial site.
The Thyssenkrupp AG Executive Board will not be easy to continue this success story.