Issue: Mar 2009


Automotive Industries spoke to Wim Dieker, chief executive officer of Troostwijk Auctions



by Steve Barclay

The annual market for used industrial machinery, is a multi-billion dollar one. This is because across the world, manufacturers are cutting back in certain locations and shifting production to other regions in order to stay cost-effective. This is true for the automotive industry as well. Today, with the auto industry facing a huge slowdown, more and more auto companies are likely to be selling off their assets.
This is where Troostwijk Auctions, the best known auctioneer in Europe, comes in. The firm, which was founded in 1930, conducts around 400 public sales annually in Europe. They handle sales of entire divisions of companies from machinery to inventories. Troostwijk Auctions ensures that the assets are transferred from one owner to the next under optimal conditions. 

The Netherlands-headquartered Troostwijk Group is one of the foremost names across the globe for concluding successful industrial sales by either private treaty, tender or public (online) auction. The company is particularly renowned in Europe. Troostwijk is known for creating effective professional marketing for these sales and for its worldwide network of business relations. Troostwijk’s headquarters is in Amsterdam and it has offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, U.K, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Israel. 

Along with conducting industrial sales Troostwijk Valuations offers professional support to receivers, banks, administrators and companies for valuation of machines and equipment, taking inventory and valuating stock positions, coordination of retentions of title such as taking inventory, carrying out inspections and delivery plus drafting a bid-book for potential re-launch of businesses.

One example of how the auction firm operates is reflected in the work it for an automotive manufacturer. In early 2007 Delphi Automotive Systems Espana, in Puerto Real in Spain, closed down their plant. The plant has over 2000 production and assembly machines for the production of shock absorbers, rack & pinion steering gears, drive axles and wheel bearing for all major car manufacturers. Troostwijk Auctions and Branford Auctions (an American industrial auctioneer) are selected to dispose of all the industrial equipment in the plant after the company applied to go into administration.

The complete sale is slated to take ten months, and is carried out through private treaty sales and auction sales. There is also a live auction sale over two days supported by webcast bidding and later, two online sales. Wim Dieker, CEO of Troostwijk Auctions said: “We are proud to be selected as the exclusive broker, together with Branford, to sell the very late machinery of the Delphi plant in Puerto Real. Troostwijk is the leading European auctioneer and valuer and has a huge experience in large scale projects like this. Projects as Fokker Aircraft, Sabena and Swiss Air have been completed by us. This project is very important for us, because we assume more automotive plants are going to be closed this year and therefore we are able to maintain and upgrade our experience in this specific field.”

Not only did many more automotive plants shut down in 2008 but today, even more are expected to close their doors.

Automotive Industries spoke to Wim Dieker, chief executive officer of Troostwijk Auctions.

AI: How do you view the current crisis in the auto industry in terms of expected closures of factories?
We are actually confronted with a lot of closures of plants of automotive suppliers all over Europe. The main countries are Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.K. The effect of these closures is not yet noticeable, because i.e. the bankruptcy system in Germany allows continuation of the production for at least three months and when there is no new candidate to continue, it will definitively close after this period. We are still at the beginning of a clean-up process.

AI: Over the last couple of years, how many automotive companies have you conducted sales for?

Except the sale of individual machines or groups of machines, there were not too many. The biggest one we sold was Sachsenring in Germany. This company re-launched a big part of their production.

AI: Do you expect your automotive-related sales to increase and if so, by how much?

There is no doubt that the automotive related sales will increase substantially. How much is difficult to predict.

AI: In your experience, do you think auto manufacturers will shut down completely today or sell assets in high-cost countries and shift to cheaper regions?

This process has already been going on for many years. The companies who wants to start with this process now, are too late . Some (financially) weak auto manufacturers will definitely close. The negative effects for the automotive suppliers in general will be huge.

AI: How has your company changed its strategy to deal with the current economic slowdown? What does this slowdown mean for Troostwijk?

We have used the past six months by investing in more people to handle the increased sales processes. Until now the results of the sales are still on a high level due to our extra marketing efforts. The quantity of end-users buying second hand machines has been reduced. It is every time a new challenge to optimize the results under the given circumstances.


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