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China National Heavy Duty Truck Group aims to build its brand into a world-class one abreast of thriving international companies such as Daimler, Benz and Volvo, according to Tan Xuguang, the group's chairman.
He made the remarks at the 2019 business conference of the group, also known as Sinotruk, which was held on Tuesday in Jinan, capital city of Shandong province in East China.
Tan took over the position of Sinotruk's chairman on Sept 1 when he was also the chairman of Shandong Heavy Industry Group.
It signified that the strategic cooperation between the two companies, based in Shandong, had marched into a new stage.
The cooperation aims to promote innovative development of equipment manufacturing in Shandong, Tan said.
According to him, integration of the global commercial vehicle industry has basically completed. Daimler, Volvo and Volkswagen all boast several brands and Chinese companies will participate in global competition and also resource integration.
He said the amount of exports is not the standard for a world-class brand, but there is instead clients' recognition of the brand. When Sinotruk's vehicles are sold in the European market and have the same popularity as those of Daimler, it can be called a world-class brand, Tan said.
Sinotruk wants to build itself into a research and development and manufacturing powerhouse for heavy, medium and light commercial vehicles. The company said it has the resources for producing the whole series of commercial vehicles.
Tan said the group has exported 36,300 complete vehicles this year, accounting for about half of all heavy trucks exported by China. It has ranked first in terms of exports in the domestic heavy truck industry for 14 years.
A decade ago, the group exported 10,000 annually.
It aims to increase the exports of its whole series of commercial vehicles to 50,000 next year, Tan said, adding the company must export middle and high-level products to compete in European and North American markets.
Sinotruk cooperated with German MAN Truck and Bus a decade ago and brought in complete vehicle manufacturing technology, especially technologies related to two types of advanced engines.
It has made efforts to develop light trucks for seven years and moved onto the fast track. About 134,000 such vehicles are estimated to be sold this year and they have a huge market in China, Tan said.
In China, heavy trucks are a specialty of Sinotruk which has built good distribution and service networks and a marketing team. It also boasts a global service system that provides an excellent guarantee for its products.
Sinotruk took the opportunity of the Belt and Road Initiative in recent years to expand abroad and cooperated with countries and regions involved in the initiative in international trade and related industries.
Based on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win, it realized local production in the countries and regions by exporting capital and technology. Under the initiative, Sinotruk is in steps expediting its expansion abroad by way of investment, joint venture cooperation and mergers and acquisitions－establishing manufacturing centers overseas and realizing localization of production and sales.
Among the countries involved in the initiative, the company plans to develop in Mongolia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
It signed a strategic cooperation agreement with a large company in Nigeria in May 2014 to jointly set up a plant for production and sales of Sinotruk heavy trucks. The general assembly shop of the joint venture saw its 1,000th HOWO motor tractor finished on Dec 14, 2017.
Pakistan is an important country involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and has taken the lead in launching development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Sinotruk has helped the development and promoted cooperation in the heavy truck industry between China and Pakistan.
The company set up 73 overseas representative offices and distribution service organizations in more than 60 countries and developed 106 initial distributors, 100 service branches and 110 fittings branches.
The company founded eight overseas cooperative manufacturing plants and in 11 countries and regions it built 16 central fitting warehouses with partners.
The facilities cover Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, Central Asia, Russia and Southeast Asia.
Sinotruk has been an export brand recommended by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products and fostered as a priority by Shandong province for several years.
Executives at the company said that with increasing exports, the brand has become recognized and liked by consumers in many countries and regions.
Its products sell well in several countries in Africa and Southeast Asia and its heavy trucks that meet certain emission standards have entered Australia and New Zealand.
Sinotruk also introduced its products to Ireland and became the first Chinese truck brand that entered the Western Europe market.
Sinotruk has also formulated measures to adjust to foreign culture and legal systems.
It will continue to invest in R&D of lightweight products to meet the requirements of road traffic laws and regulations in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central America.