After sharp declines in construction equipment sales again this year, one of the country’s leading manufacturers believes the end of the downturn is in sight.

Liugong Group chairman Zeng Guang’an said, “I think we are very close to the bottom of the market in China. It may drop a little next year but then it will pick up. The problem is that the machine population is very high.”

He added, “I believe some companies will move out of the industry. The strong companies will get stronger and the weak companies will get weaker.”

Mr Zeng also said that Liugong’s perceived conservatism in investment in the boom years up to 2011 was now serving the company well. “Many companies over-invested. Five years ago people said Liugong was moving too slowly, but today Liugong is a Strong company,” he said.

With sales slow in China, a priority for Liugong is to build its overseas business. According to Mr Zeng, Europe will be a key focus over the next year, as the company looks to build on its acquisition of Polish dozer maker Dressta. “We will look to improve in Europe and localise more production in Poland,” he said.

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