Haulotte has staged the global launch of its HT28 telescopic boom at the Bauma China exhibition in Shanghai, underscoring the importance of the Chinese and Asian access market.
The new model, which will also be available as a HT26 model without fly jib, arrived in China days before the show and was the showcase machine on the company’s stand. Haulotte Shanghai’s General Manager, Tomie Chan, said the machine – the first production unit – will end up with a Chinese rental customer.
Weighing 17.9 tonnes and with a maximum outreach of 23.8 m, the HT28 has two important new features that will eventually be found on every Haulotte boom: an engine auto-stop feature that the company estimates will reduce engine run time by 20% and cut fuel use by 8%; and a lighting system to make loading and unloading safer.
Mr Chan said the HT28/HT26 size was very important for the Chinese and wider Asia market – more so even than Europe. The units are being manufactured in France.
At the show, Haulotte’s Managing Director for Asia, Damien Gautier, reported that the company’s sales in China had doubled so far this year, driven by growth in shipments to rental companies. He said that financing was an important factor in Haulotte’s growth, with more than half of its sales being supported by finance.
The company has had a base in Shanghai for 10 years, but in response to recent growth it has added a sales and service office in Beijing and next year will open a new facility in Guangzhou, southern China.
Haulotte also reported the landmark sale of its first telehandler, a 14 metre HTL4014, in China, to rental company Chongquing Baisitai (Zhibang Group), an XCMG excavator dealer that in the past few years has started renting aerial platforms. It already has around 185 Haulotte aerials, but this is its first handler.
“Telehandlers are coming late to China”, said Haulotte’s chief operating officer, Alexandre Saubot, “We’re starting to see signs of interest. Medium term I am confident it will find its place, but for rental it’s at the very beginning.”
Mr Saubot also said he was aware that there were some concerns in the Chinese market about the rapid influx of aerials and the impact this was having on rental prices.
He said that rates were currently sufficient to generate enough returns for rental players, and added that he had no concerns about the health of the market.