Despite the difficult economic environment, WACKER maintained its overarching strategy in 2009. We have set our sights on continued profitable growth and on securing a leading competitive position in most of our business fields. In addition to our established markets and activities, we focus on product segments and regions with above-average growth, including Asia (especially China and India) and South America. To reach our targets, we are expanding our presence in these markets and gaining new customers.
This strategy is based on the Group’s existing technological and entrepreneurial strengths. We strive to ensure that WACKER products and services are the preferred choice of customers. Consequently, we make products that satisfy highly rigorous demands and, when used, directly contribute to added value for our customers.
As we chart our strategic course, we realize how vital it is that WACKER’s aims are reflected in each employee’s goals and that success is rewarded.
Our vision is to make an indispensable contribution to global progress and sustainable development. Sustainable management is the basis of the Group’s long-term business success.
To realize our vision, we look to key megatrends. Our products are ideally suited to serving such megatrends as energy efficiency, urbanization/construction and digitization, and the rising prosperity in newly industrialized countries.
In 2009, we optimized and realigned our strategies at WACKER SILICONES, WACKER FINE CHEMICALS and Siltronic.
WACKER SILICONES adapted its strategy to market trends, focusing on profitable growth, on using cost-saving potentials more efficiently, and on enhancing market and customer-oriented flexibility. In the future, the division will supply standard and specialty products via various business models specifically tailored to customer needs. WACKER SILICONES will still have five business units, which supply customers by focusing firmly on markets.
WACKER SILICONES Enhances Its Divisional Strategy
Product Management’s task is to ensure high capacity-utilization rates by adopting market-relevant price strategies. Research and Development, formerly positioned at the business-field level, has been consolidated at a divisional level. Each national entity now has more responsibility for operational aspects, such as pricing. As a result, the division will be able to react faster and more flexibly when responding to market demands and special circumstances. As in the past, a strategic priority is the expansion of the division’s integrated production system in key markets. In 2010, WACKER and Dow Corning plan to start up their joint-venture siloxane facility at Zhangjiagang in China, a highly promising market.
WACKER has introduced a new site strategy to further optimize Siltronic’s integrated production system and make it more flexible. In the future, production of each silicon wafer diameter will be focused on a lead site. This will boost capacity utilization, improve cost structures, and concentrate wafer-specific production expertise at the corresponding sites. Together with customers, Siltronic is currently qualifying the individual sites so that it can ensure an uninterrupted supply of each wafer diameter from the designated fabs.
Siltronic Launches New Site Strategy
To maintain its technological leadership, Siltronic will continue to invest in product developments, quality-enhancing measures and 300 mm technology, so that it can meet the latest design-rule requirements.
Thanks to the acquisition of Air Products Polymers’ business in 2008, WACKER POLYMERS has become more broadly positioned. Beside the construction industry, WACKER serves sectors such as textiles, paints/coatings and adhesives. Having commissioned our Nanjing production site in November 2009, we are now the only company in the market offering a complete supply chain for dispersions and dispersible polymer powders in Europe, the Americas and Asia. WACKER POLYMERS intends to continue growing by maintaining close proximity to customers and by supplying products specifically tailored to local needs. A key strategic component is expansion of our technical competence centers, where we develop individualized product solutions on-site together with customers.
WACKER’s exit from the solar-wafer business means we can fully focus on the production of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon in the future. WACKER POLYSILICON’S strategic aim is to uphold its quality and cost leadership in this business and to expand production capacities in line with market growth. A new production facility in Nünchritz (Saxony) is already under construction with a nominal capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year. It is set to come on stream by the end of 2011 – further solidifying our market position. In the medium term, we intend to build a new production plant for hyperpure polycrystalline silicon in the USA. To this end, we purchased a large plot of land in the state of Tennessee in January 2009.
WACKER POLYSILICON with Renewed Focus on Producing Hyperpure Polycrystalline Silicon
WACKER FINE CHEMICALS has restructured its product portfolio and now concentrates on the pharmaceutical, agricultural and food sectors. In coming years, we plan to press on with biotechnology expansion, aiming at annual double-digit growth. To do this, we are intensifying the division’s market focus and, effective January 1, 2010, have realigned its organizational structure accordingly.