- Siemens is engineering Europe's next generation of high speed trains
- The German manufacturer has weathered the continent's economic downturn
- CEO says government stimulus packages are key to recent success
Europe's economy may have hit the brakes but one of the continent's manufacturing giants is shifting up a gear.
Munich-based Siemens is engineering the next generation of high speed trains and has a long-term order book filled with European clients.
Dr Ansgar Brockmeyer, CEO of the company's high speed and commuter rail division, says that even in these hard times, his company has found a way to flourish.
The impact of the financial crisis has been "nearly nil," Brockmeyer says. The company did not lay off any staff, as it continued to work with a large order book.
Brockmeyer cites the short-term stimulus packages provided by European governments for major infrastructure projects as a key factor in Siemens' success.
He also says the long-term nature and large scale of the contracts they have managed to win are a source of security -- a 200-meter high-speed train carries a price tag of €35 million ($49 million).
The German company is currently producing the latest trains for the Eurostar line as well as working on stock for Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
While enthusiastic about the present however, Brockmeyer also has an eye on the challenges of tomorrow.
Governments and institutions will have to invest in their own railway infrastructure to meet the demands of high speed rail, he says. This may lead to hiked passenger fares, and could push some to seek cheaper modes of transportation.
But Brockmeyer is confident the business model for Siemens and rail in Europe remains "very stable."