19 March 2008
Zhang Yu Chun, XCMG crane division general manager, says the largest XCMG crane in 2002 was a 50 tonne capacity model. “Now we have 130, 160, 200, 240 and 300 tonne capacity all terrain cranes both for Chinese customers and for export markets. Historically we have had about a 55% share of the Chinese truck crane market and this year (2006) it is a bit better than that. In 2006 we will manufacture 7,500 cranes in total, compared to 5,600 in 2005. The total crane market in China this year  will be about 13,000. The 16, 20, 25, 35 and 50 tonne capacity models are very popular, and 12 and 18 tonne cranes are also very common in China. But there are more and more customers in China buying the larger capacity models-the 80 to 300 tonne cranes.
“In the past these larger size cranes were only available from European, Japanese and US manufacturers. The fact that we are building these sizes of AT cranes now is significant for China, but also for the global market. From January to October 2006 we exported 600 cranes around the world. The figure for the full year will be about 800 cranes, which is about 95% of all the cranes exported from China. Excluding China, the global market for mobile cranes is about 7,000 to 8,000 units, so we have a market share of about 10%.
“Now we are seeing more overseas customers buying 80, 100 and 130 tonne cranes. We are pleased about that, because in the past I do not think our overseas customers believed we could make these larger cranes, and did not believe the quality would be good enough. The fact that we are selling these machines shows we can build good quality machines.
We are seeing opinions change, and we believe we are winning market share from some of the established players-Tadano in the Middle East and Grove in South America for example. We now have CE Certification, so the door has opened for us in Europe.
We have set up a service centre dedicated to international markets, which is based in Xuzhou, and we have nine international representatives in our major export markets-Australia, Brazil, Dubai and so on. This is separate from our Chinese network.
“The Chinese market is completely different to our overseas markets, because it is so closely linked to China's wider economic development. Ten years ago the Chinese crane market was only 1,000 machines, now it is 13,000, which shows what a big change there has been. I think our economy will continue to strengthen, and we want to maintain our market share around 55% to 60%. In AT cranes we will soon move up from our current 300 tonne capacity model to build 400 and 500 tonne models. In the longer term we plan to produce an 800 tonne capacity crane within five years. In the crawler crane range we currently have a 450 tonne capacity model, and in 2007 we plan to build 600 and 700 tonne models. By 2010 we plan to have a 1,000 tonne crawler.
At Bauma China last year, the country's second largest manufacture Zoomlion also made its mark on the all terrain market, with its 160 tonne capacity QAY160.
The model has 14.76 m carrier with six axles, each rated for maximum load of 12 tonnes.
The company's crane division-Puyuan, until its merger with Zoomlion in 2003-offers truck cranes from 8 to 300 tonnes capacity, all terrains from 25 to 350 tonnes, and crawler cranes from 50 to 600 tonnes.
“There is a small market for this type of crane in China at the moment but we are smart, we can produce these machines more cheaply,” explains Yanming Xiong, Zoomlion vice president and Zoomlion Puyuan general manager. The new model has hydropneumatic suspension and a 61 m boom with six (including the base) oval profile sections.