Haulotte has seen a 30% increase in sales in China this year as a result of continued growth in the rental sector, with its new finance offering proving “critical” in helping the manufacturer win business.
Speaking at the BICES exhibition in Beijing, Damien Gautier, Haulotte’s managing director for Asia Pacific, said that the introduction of finance offerings in the second quarter of the year – including operating leases, hire purchase and financial lease options – has been critical in boosting its presence in the rental market; “It’s a critical thing and a big plus for us.”
Finance availability is scarce in China, particularly for small companies starting up in a relatively new market. (At BICES, Haulotte was offering finance at 3.88% interest on three or four year agreements.)
Mr Gautier said the growth in its rental-related sales had also offset a decline in the company’s sales to end users, such as contractors, who have been adversely impacted by China’s slower economy and by an anti-corruption drive that has slowed tender processes.
Tomie Chan, Haulotte’s general manager for China, said new rental companies were springing up in Chinese towns and cities in the west and middle of the country, to add to the existing rental markets in Beijing and Shanghai. He gave the example of start-ups in cities including Changsha, Changdu, Chongqing and Taiyuan.
Haulotte’s facility in Changzhou is making electric scissors in the 6 to 14 m range, and no decision has been made on when to add diesel scissors of self-propelled booms to the production.
The manufacturer supplies these Chinese–produced scissors to the entire Asian market – including Japan and Australia – but Mr Gautier said China was now taking almost 50% of Changzhou’s production.
The growth in rental has been very rapid. IPAF estimates that there are now between 150 and 200 access rental companies in China, with a total fleet size as much as 10,000 units.
However, the growth has also seen inevitable pressures on rental rates, with one OEM representative estimating that rental rates has reduced by as much as 50% over the past three years.