According to Sandvik Construction president Thomas Schulz, the firm has a growing commitment to the Chinese market
Sandvik Construction president Thomas Schulz was keen to emphasise the firm’s growing commitment to China and gave an upbeat forecast for the health of the global construction equipment manufacturing industry over the next 12 months and beyond.
Speaking during Bauma China 2012, Schulz said: “The global construction equipment market has been a bit lower for the past two years. However, based on these market conditions, the performance of Sandvik in China is quite good. We have quite a positive outlook for 2013, and on-going from there.”
Asked about the extent to which the market has been down, Schulz estimated that there is a 40% to 50% pent-up demand for Sandvik’s crushing and screening equipment which has been caused by a lack of available funds. He sees the situation changing during 2013.
On Sandvik’s investment strategy in relation to the tough global economic climate, he added: “Investments are not made on a year-by-year basis. The investments we have planned for 2013 were decided upon a few years ago, so we are not stopping or changing any investment plans.”
On specific Chinese investment by Sandvik, he added: “We have since October last year a joint venture officially finalised with Shanghai Electric regarding Shanbao (SJL). That’s an ongoing big investment in China’’. He added “Sandvik Group invests all over the country, not just in construction and mining.”
When asked to define competitiveness by a local reporter, Schulz explained, ‘’The extent to which a supplier is able to meet customer demand more effectively than its competitors.” He went on to explain that when a supplier has both a very close relationship with a customer, and a very close understanding of that customer’s market via relationships with similar customers, it is very difficult for other suppliers to compete. He went on to say that service is a more important criterion than price, and added, ‘’The cheapest supplier is not automatically the most competitive.”
“What it boils down to is this”, he said, “The customer is always looking for the fastest return on investment.”