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Volvo CE eyes infrastructure for sales expansion

By Ma Si | China Daily | Updated: 2018-12-04 13:17
People visit the Volvo stand during the ninth International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Construction Vehicles and Equipment, also known as Bauma China 2018, in Shanghai, Nov 27, 2018. [Photo/IC]

Volvo Construction Equipment will step up efforts to expand presence in the China market, with the Swedish company eyeing a push into the country's new round of efforts to promote infrastructure investment.

Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo CE, said "Volvo has always been a pioneer in innovation and we are proud to demonstrate this through our role in China's incredible infrastructure growth."

Volvo CE said the Chinese construction machinery market was 42 percent bigger in the third quarter of 2018, compared to a year earlier, giving a boost to its local business.

While Volvo Penta, the engine subsidiary of Volvo, saw its sales double in China over the last two years, far above the 34 percent annual global growth its off road sector averaged.

Jernberg said Volvo CE, a subsidiary of Volvo Group, has a strong cross-group collaboration in new technology, which gives it an edge over other foreign construction equipment makers such as Caterpillar Inc.

China is one of the four key strategic markets for Volvo CE. The company currently has more than 700 local staff, with two manufacturing plants - one in Shanghai, the other in Linyi, Shandong province - as well as a technology center in Jinan, Shandong province.

The country said in October that it will work harder to promote infrastructure investment, with a focus on areas that can efficiently boost productivity, address weak links and promote high-quality growth.

To better grab such opportunities, Volvo unveiled a slate of products and solutions tailor-made to meet local companies' demands last week in Shanghai. One of them is the EC75D compact excavator, which has been built with the Chinese market especially in mind, for its excellent stability and an extensive working range.

Furthermore, the firm has launched a new Volvo Services package to help Chinese customers maximize uptime. The package has been upgraded to offer continuous customer support throughout the life cycle of the equipment. With no one-size-fits-all approach, the concept unites machine and service offerings across nine categories - including fuel efficiency, productivity, parts and attachments - to provide a total solution package.

Volvo has also developed a tailor-made solution for Chinese clients based on WeChat, the most popular social-networking platform in the country. Volvo Financial Service allows customers to manage accounts, chat with representatives online and make instant payments all through the touch of a button.

Despite political instability, climate change and technological breakthroughs affecting the global economy, Volvo's internal efficiency and a good balance of products will help it adapt to this changing landscape and support China's world-renowned construction projects, including the Belt and Road Initiative, said Jernberg.

Zhang Xiaohui, an expert with the Chinese Machinery Association, said the robust trend will continue in the sector, bringing big opportunities to foreign companies.

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