CHICAGO (Reuters) - Top manufacturing executives expressed confidence that the U.S. economy will continue to recover from its worst downturn in decades, though they expect slow growth ahead.
Below are some of the views of speakers at the Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit in Chicago on Monday:
MARTIN RICHENHAGEN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AGCO CORP (AGCO.N)
“The question comes: If CNH were to become available because of problems in the automotive industry would you be interested in buying? And the answer is always yes and my comment is also I do not think it will happen.”
“In 2010 I don’t see a major acquisition coming. In 2011, who knows?”
”When you talk to analysts and investors they all want you to be very bullish. Then you don’t deliver and you get all the feedback. So I think Wall Street is a little bit more forgiving if you are slightly more conservative and over-deliver. This is the typical approach we would choose.
BILL ZOLLARS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, YRC WORLDWIDE INC (YRCW.O):
“We’re not out of the woods yet. We still have a lot of things to do but we’re firmly focused on the path forward and I think we’re on the road to success again and expect to be back on our feet here by the end of the year.”
”Interestingly enough, the rust belt seems to be rebounding more quickly maybe than the rest of the country ... That may go back to manufacturing being the leader here in terms of economic recovery. We do see that Midwest, upper Midwest part of the country growing faster than the rest.
JIM GRIFFITH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TIMKEN CO (TKR.N)
“I call this the SAP recession, because companies have a much better control over their inventories and so our customers did a much better job of reducing inventories immediately when they saw the demand go. And the further back you were on the supply chain, the more that hit you.”
”We believe the recovery is real. We believe it’s modest and we are running the company on the basis that there will be a slow, gradual improvement in the economy. The economists debate, ‘Is this going to be a V? Is it going to be a U? Is it going to be a W? The best depiction I have heard ... is that this recovery is going to look like the Nike swoosh.
“The liquidity is there. I think everyone is feeling much more confident about this economy. ... It’s safe to get back in the water. And so we’re seeing expansion. I guess we have to be cautious that we don’t all run to the other side of the boat too quickly to cause it start to list to the other side.”
Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Richard Chang