Welcome to the 2009 Manufacturing and Transportation Summit
It isn’t easy being a manufacturing CEO these days.
Industrial production has plummeted around the world, falling commodity prices are hurting sales of equipment used in mining and oil and gas exploration, and even once-robust emerging markets like China are feeling the squeeze from the recession in developed markets. Another key market, construction, is in its worst decline in generations.
Large U.S. manufacturing companies have responded to the lean times by becoming leaner themselves, in some cases by cutting tens of thousands of jobs.
Yet one of their biggest challenges may be the lack of visibility, what some have described as “blizzard conditions,” which makes planning an already cyclical business especially difficult.
The 2009 Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation summit, held in Chicago February 23-25, will tackle these topics and more. Reuters has invited a group of manufacturing sector CEOs to give their views on what companies do in this environment to protect profits, how to cut costs without cutting too deeply, and the likely impact of the Obama stimulus.