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International Growth for Liugong with European expansion plans

First Publishedon www.DailyNews-Online.com/Bauma-China
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Liugong  ZL50 wheeled loader
The ZL50 wheeled loader is one of LiuGong's core products and is sold domestically in China and also as an export model achieving sales success in markets such as South Africa

Based in Liuzhou, LiuGong is one of China’s longest established construction equipment manufacturers and the company dates back to the 1950s. This large and successful firm has grown both organically and by acquisition and its most recent strategic purchase has been for the Polish HSW company making the Dressta range of bulldozers. This plant forms a key part of LiuGong’s international growth plans and will be used to manufacture the E Series excavators for  the European market.

Stacie Adams is branding and communications director of LiuGong and said, “We’re importing wheeled loaders into Europe now. Our goal is to start production of tracked excavators in Poland and this will help to cut down on transport costs.”

The company’s 922E excavator was introduced in early 2012 and this 22tonne class machine is designed to meet European and US requirements, with power from a Stage IIIB/Tier 4 Interim emissions compliant engine. Further E Series machines will be introduced in due course, while production of the excavators will also commence at the firm’s facility in Poland alongside the bulldozer range. The 45tonne class 945, 36tonne 936 and 25tonne 925 will be available in E Series variants for the US and European markets and also in Tier 2 variants for the Chinese market.
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Signing ceremony between LiuGong and ZF
The signing ceremony between LiuGong and ZF marks an extension of the existing joint venture partnership between the two companies
The firm’s Indian factory is also now in operation and Adams said, “They’ve started producing machines for India and they are easy to maintain and reliable.”

The Indian facility builds wheeled loaders and excavators aimed specifically at the needs of the local market.

The company is considering establishing additional factories in other locations to meet local market demands.

In Liuzhou, LiuGong has a major presence, both with its current and planned facilities.

The wheeled loaders for export are built to order on a separate production line and account for around 10% of the firm’s total production of wheeled loaders at present, although plans are in hand to increase this percentage significantly. Adams said, “We’re building a new plant for export machines.”

And LiuGong has a substantial joint venture operation with German company ZF that produces axles, with this facility also located in Liuzhou.

The two companies recently signed a deal to further develop this joint venture partnership. The new company will produce wheeled loader axles that are specially tailored for the requirements of the Chinese market. In the long run approximately 190 employees will be working at Liuzhou Axle and more than 30,000 of the newly designed axles will be delivered to LiuGong and other customers. Since 1995, ZF and LiuGong have been operating a joint venture in Liuzhou. The company employs 300 people and has been successfully supplying LiuGong and other customers with transmissions and axles for construction machines. This latest agreement will further intensify cooperation between LiuGong and ZF for construction machine axles and will be based at the same location as the existing facility.

For LiuGong, one of the core models has been the ZL50 wheeled loader. While it is mainly sold in the domestic market it is also exported.  Ed Wagner is director for new technology and said, “That’s a popular machine in South Africa.”

The ZL50 is available with a choice of engines to suit customer requirements and in general, components fitted to the LiuGong machines vary. Some wheeled loaders for the Chinese market are fitted for example with LiuGong’s own axles, while machines for export are equipped with imported ZF axles. The higher specification wheeled loaders for the Chinese market as well as a number of models for export are fitted with axles from the nearby joint venture factory.

The 888 and 890 wheeled loaders are two of the largest in the LiuGong line-up and are currently available. Plans in hand for bauma China 2012 include the launch of the new E Series excavators , concrete machines and also the introduction of the Dressta bulldozers to the Chinese market.
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