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In France, builders and distributors join into single trade association.

Earlier this year, a new trade association was formed in Paris with the union of SYMAP, the builders of machine tools and assembly equipment, and SYMO, the distributors and importers of that equipment.

The new organization has adopted the name SYMOP (Syndicat des Enterprises de Technologies de Production), and it now includes 200 companies that employ more than 10,000 people. Its members ( generate annual sales of 1.85-billion [euro].

According to Jean-Paul Bugaud, general manager of the new SYMOP, two factors sparked the merger. First, industry has evolved into a much wider spectrum of technologies no longer limited to traditional machine-tool, tooling, and accessories categories. Moreover, he says, the realities of the new global marketplace "are not compatible with separate players who, in fact, have to satisfy the same type of clients and partners and who often have common interests."

Since 2000 Bugaud had been general manager, too, of predecessor SYMAP, (Syndicat de la Machine-Outil, du Soudage, de l'Assemblage et de la Productique Associee). Jean-Paul Nodier, SYMAP's president since 2002, is now president of SYMOP; he's chairman of the board of Nodier-Emag Industrie S.A. (Lyon, France) and a director of France's federation of mechanical engineering industries.

In many countries with factory-equipment-producing industries, there have been separate trade groups for builders and distributors (Japan goes so far as to have separate groups for builders of cutting machine tools and for builders of metalforming machines). But in several instances the demarcation has been eroding: for decades Britain's MTA has represented both builders and distributors, and in recent years the AMTDA formed a separate membership category for non-distributor "marketing associates."

According to the World Machine Tool Output & Consumption Survey published by this newsletter, France ranks eleventh among producing nations with $907.4-million output, and it is ninth among consumers with $1,423.2-million in machine tools (both figures exclude parts, tooling, and non-machine-tool automation).

SYMOP, Paris--La Defense, France. 33-1-47-17-6714.
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Publication:Metalworking Insiders' Report
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Aug 4, 2006
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