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26/11/2012

Zoomlion raising the bar

First Publishedon www.DailyNews-Online.com/Bauma-China
Daily News
2012
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Zoomlion  crawler crane
Zoomlion has been carrying out testing of its massive 3,200tonne capacity crawler crane
Zoomlion has come a long way in 20 years, from small beginnings to becoming a major equipment manufacturer on the international stage.

Tower cranes and truck cranes in particular make up the bulk of the firm’s operations and it is a leading producer in this field. Zoomlion makes the world’s largest crawler crane, which has a maximum lift capacity of 3,200tonnes and features a novel design with twin chassis and twin booms.

However, Zoomlion is also a major player in the market for concrete pumps both with its own brand and the Italian CIFA range. When Zoomlion bought Italian firm Cifa in 2008, this move made it the largest manufacturer of concrete pumps in the world, although the subsequent acquisitions of Putzmeister by Sany and Schwing by XCMG will have changed this situation. Innovations include a concrete pump featuring an incredible 101m reach that features a high strength, low weight carbon fibre boom structure. The firm makes a substantial investment in research and development, putting around 60% of its sales revenue into this area, as well as having an extremely diverse product line. The majority of the road machinery that Zoomlion manufactures is for the Chinese market. Those road machines that are exported largely go to Chinese contractors to work on overseas projects.

But exports do figure highly in Zoomlion’s plans and the target for the future is that by 2015 some 30% of the company’s production run will be sold outside of China. This represents a considerable expansion of overseas sales as at present (discounting the sales of the Italian Cifa business) some 10% of Zoomlion’s sales are outside of China.

A spokesperson for the company said, “The main markets for us are the Middle East, South America, Africa, the Pan-Pacific Region and the Russian Federation .”

A novel approach has been the use of two separate brands for concrete pumps, with both the Zoomlion and Cifa names being used. There is a market overlap between the two for some territories but in general, Cifa units are aimed at the US and European markets while Zoomlion pumps are sold in other territories. Its acquisition of the JOST flat top crane technology in 2011 will also help develop its share of the competitive world market for tower cranes, including variants with CE approval for sale into Europe.

Elsewhere in Asia Zoomlion sees potential and the company has established a joint venture with an Indian company. The spokesperson said, “We’re building a factory in India next year to focus on tower cranes and we believe we’ll achieve more than 45% annual growth in sales in India.”

The excavator business is growing within Zoomlion and the company recently sold a package of excavators to Inner Mongolia in a deal worth around $47.6 million, the biggest single contract the firm has ever had. The equipment was bought by a single company for extraction operations and included 203 units in all, with 30tonne excavators making up the bulk of the deal.
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