Zoomlion to make heavy trucks and agricultural machines

By Murray Pollok15 October 2013

Zoomlion's Frank Zhang.

Zoomlion's Frank Zhang.

Zoomlion aims to be manufacturing agricultural machines and heavy trucks in China within three to five years through collaborations and joint ventures with western manufacturers. The company has previously focused almost entirely on construction equipment.

The target market for the agricultural range will be China, while the new heavy trucks will be suitable for external sales as well as for its own cranes and concrete pumps. Zoomlion said it will make its own engines for the trucks.

Frank Zhang, senior president and general manager of Zoomlion’s international trading company, said at BICES that the company had already established a research and development office for agricultural equipment in Chicago, US (where its Cifa subsidiary has a factory), and would be recruiting “top talent” to help it develop the new products.

He said there was a good market for agricultural equipment in China as the country seeks to further mechanise its farming sector; “We will start in the north of China with mid and large sized machines, then move into south China with smaller machines.”

Zoomlion saw a very small fall in its revenues last year, to US$7.81 billion – of which around 10% is export sales – and said it expected a further small decline this year. Mr Zhang said the Chinese construction equipment market was still not good; “For next year, we believe the overall market situation will be quite stable – so we are not so optimistic.”

In addition to its strategy of moving into new product sectors, Zoomlion aims to grow its export sales. “Next year we will look very positively for growth of our exports”, said Mr Zhang, with further mergers and acquisitions a possibility, particularly for developed markets like North America and western Europe.

“We look very positively at North America and Europe” he said, “We have seen significant moves towards stability there after the global financial crisis. In China there is a saying: a thin camel is still bigger than a horse.”

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