German mining equipment manufacturers incorporated within the German Engineering Association (VDMA) have chosen a new name. From now on the organisation is referring to itself as VDMA Mining. The manufacturers state that they have adopted this new name “both to reflect the industry’s international outlook and in response to the public’s negative perception of the German term ‘Bergbau’ meaning coal mining, which does not enjoy a very positive image in the country.”But the approximately 135 companies affiliated with VDMA Mining have not only given themselves a new name. They have also chosen a new Chairman, Dr Michael Schulte Strathaus. The Managing Director of Schulte Strathaus, Cyrus Schwingtechnik and Cyrus Vibration Machines India replaces Dr Paul Rheinländer who had held the position for the past six years and did not stand for re-election. Schulte Strathaus praised the engagement of his predecessor whose concerted efforts had expedited VDMA Mining’s re-orientation and promoted international standardisation. The new Chairman holds a degree in business administration is married and has three children. He is also a member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Economic Council and holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.Schulte Strathaus expects the current lukewarm business climate to revive for German manufacturers in 2015. He describes the situation on the raw material markets as “unsettled”. Whilst falling oil prices have certainly led to a reduction in operating costs in mines which both increases profit and creates scope for investment, this is offset by sometimes massive decreases in raw material prices and overproduction. With an estimated turnover of around €3.3 billion in 2014, the industry has fallen back to 2008 levels. And that, according to Schulte Strathaus, with considerably increased capacity in some cases.