Sany Group, the largest crane maker in China and the sixth-largest in the world, plans to focus more on market expansion in Asean by using Thailand as a production base for excavators in the next few years in addition to Indonesia.
The move is aimed at balancing the group’s global sales as the economies of the European Union and the United States slow while Asia is enjoying fast growth, though the biggest proportion of its sales remains in China, amounting to 80 per cent. About 10 per cent of sales are in the Asia-Pacific region, said Paul Da, regional manager of Sany Heavy Industry (Thailand) Co Ltd
“We looked for a site to build an assembly plant for excavators in Thailand last year, but decided to invest in Indonesia instead because of the flooding. However, we’re still interested in Thailand if sales are big enough, say 400-500 units a year,” he said, adding that the plant would cost about US$40 million (Bt1.26 billion).
He said that in the Asia-Pacific region outside mainland China, the Sany Group had given importance to 10 major markets, namely Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia.
For the Thai market, there are three kinds of construction machinery available: excavators, mobile cranes and concrete mixers. As it has only been in the Kingdom for five or six years, Sany’s sales here are still behind those of well-known Japanese and US brands that have been in the Thai market for decades.
In the first half of this year, Sany’s sales in the Thai market were about $20 million, divided into mobile cranes at 70 units, excavators at 60 units and concrete mixers at 55 units. The company expects sales for this full year at $40 million, Da said.
For excavators, which is considered a large market, Sany’s Thai unit targets sales of more than 1,000 units in the next five years.
To achieve the target, Da said the company had deployed a marketing strategy via dealers with promotional support and after-sale service centres as well as pricing.
“Sany products are normally 20 per cent cheaper than other brands of the same specification,” he said, adding that the company planned to open four service centres in addition to the five currently operating across the nation.
In Myanmar, Da said Sany had joined with a local partner to open a showroom in Yangon, which is expected to be constructed and ready to open for business by end of the year. It has also entered an agreement to hire its second dealer in Laos. In Indonesia meanwhile, its excavator assembly plant is under construction and is expected to begin operating next year.
After starting up in 1989, Sany Group now has six production bases of construction machinery in China and five outside, in the US, Germany, India, Brazil and Indonesia. The group has a global workforce of 60,000 in more than 150 countries. It provides a wide range of 120 kinds of construction machinery.
Sany Heavy Industry (Thailand) Co has been registered in the Kingdom since 2009. It is a subsidiary of Sany Overseas and is responsible for marketing, distributing and servicing Sany products in the Indochina peninsular region including Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.