By Wang Junling
The exports of excavators can indicate the development of the engineering machinery industry and even the manufacturing industry. Since this year, the exports of Chinese excavators have been on a constant rise, becoming a highlight of the sluggish world economic recovery.
According to a survey that covered major Chinese manufacturers of excavators launched by the China Construction Machinery Association, China exported 28,643 excavators in the first three months this year, up 13.3 percent year on year. In particular, the exports of some leading players doubled, and the number of orders they receive is still rising.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that China is currently able to produce 22 categories of engineering machinery, and is one of the countries with the widest range of products. It is the world's largest producer of excavators, cranes, loaders and other major engineering machinery.
What has contributed to the rapid growth of China's exports of excavators is the high-quality development of Chinese manufacturers.
Wu Yuanfeng, vice general manager of an earthmoving machinery company under Chinese machinery manufacturer Zoomlion, told People's Daily that the exports of Zoomlion's flagship excavator model jumped over 200 percent from a year ago in Q1 this year, and this great performance was attributed to the company's strong investment in R&D and manufacturing techniques.
"We have built the first whole-process intelligent excavator manufacturing base in Changsha, central China's Hunan province, which lifts the average production capacity by nearly 70 percent and reduces the production cycle by 65 percent when compared with the traditional plants," Wu noted.
He said medium- and large-sized excavators produced by Zoomlion have won high recognition from overseas clients thanks to these machines' great performance in operating power, construction efficiency, energy conservation and adaptability.
In Q1 this year, the excavator exports of Guangxi LiuGong Machinery Co., Ltd., headquartered in south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, increased 16 percent year on year. In particular, the exports of heavy-duty excavators above 30 tons surged 80 percent, he added.
The company's improved customer service is an important reason for its success with clients from abroad, said Lin Shencai, international business director of the company's excavator department.
According to Lin, LiuGong Machinery has seven sales divisions that cover 102 countries globally, and every division has its own sales channels and after-sales service system. These divisions all offer 24/7 services.
"Our excavators have an average trouble-free time of more than 1,700 hours. We also sell graders, bulldozers, loaders and other earthmoving products and boast a worldwide after-sale network that provides comprehensive support for customers," Lin told People's Daily.
As the world faces downward economic pressure, economies in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other regions are enhancing their investment in infrastructure and mining to stabilize economic growth, which is an important reason for the rise in the overseas demand of excavators and other engineering machinery, said Zhou Minliang, a researcher with the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Chinese enterprises have seized the opportunity from overseas markets thanks to their reliable technological capability, good reputation and quality service system, Zhou added, to achieve the growth of domestic excavators and other products exports.
Wan Zhe, a research fellow at the Belt and Road School of Beijing Normal University, believes that the popularity of Chinese excavators overseas mirrors the worldwide recognition of Chinese manufacturing, as infrastructure is a foundation for a region's economic and social development.
Over the past decade, the Belt and Road Initiative has been widely welcomed in countries along its route and other regions, and the close Belt and Road cooperation has created a sound external environment for the exports of Chinese excavators, Wan added.