Manitowoc has released details of its strategy for capturing a greater share of crane sales in the crucial Chinese market.
The American firm offers four brands in China: Grove mobile hydraulic cranes, Manitowoc high capacity crawler cranes, Potain tower cranes, and Dongyue truck cranes.
It believes that continuing to import its latest cranes to meet local customer needs, while expanding its product and development team, increasing the speed of local sourcing of components, enlarging distribution networks in western China to tap into fast-paced infrastructure development, and offering more flexible financing packages from MCLC to help customers’ cashflow, will be the blueprint for its success.
During a press conference at bauma China 2012, Manitowoc president and general manager Eric Etchart described the company’s approach to achieving success in China and other emerging markets. He said, “The goal is to be in the Number One, Two or Three position in each of the emerging markets. The business in 20 years will be very different than the crane landscape now.
It’s very critical for Manitowoc to have its product range at the forefront of the Chinese [crane sales] industry. We are not yet there given the competition, but we are certainly in much better shape in much of the other emerging markets, where we are either Number One or Number Two.”
Expanding on Manitowoc’s approach to trade in emerging markets, Etchart added, “Selling the first cranes is quite easy. But selling the second cranes depends on your ability to support the product, through service and after market and spare parts availability.
You have to be ahead of the curve, with your technicians and their training, and spare parts [provision], because you have to make sure those very first cranes carry your reputation, and you have customers that will extol the knowledge that your machine is very good and well supported.”
On new China-based product development, Manitowoc intends to expand its tower crane range, manufacturing new smaller capacity topless and luffing jib tower cranes from its Zhangjiagang factory. There are also plans to develop larger 70tonne to 100tonne truck cranes for the company’s GT range out of its Taian factory. The new models would include the latest Grove technologies.
Manitowoc has also released details of its 2012 sales in other emerging markets. They are up by nearly 40% in Brazil, but were flat in India and Russia. The company opened a new factory this year in Passo Fundo, Brazil, and is predicting an “excellent” outlook for 2013 sales. In India, Manitowoc partners TIL will be building more Grove rough terrain cranes and carrying out rebuilds at a new factory. Meanwhile, assembly has begun of GBT35 cranes on locally built Volvo chassis.